Some Valley eateries fall victim to reviews of health inspectors

Some Coachella Valley restaurants — some of your favorites — were temporarily closed by county health inspectors between July 20 and Aug. 16, according to the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health‘s most recent Food Facility Closures report.

Restaurateurs were cited for both minor and major health violations, including insect infestations, failed refrigeration, and broken water heaters.

The inspectors arrive unannounced at restaurants across the county to follow up on complaints and to perform regular inspections. Officers track potential health issues related to improper food storage temperatures, cleanliness, hand washing, and even live animals or insect infestations. Inspection reports are posted on the agency’s website.

Inspection grades range from “A” to “C.” Many times, restaurant owners repair the issues before inspectors leave the premises. Other times, problems take longer to fix. If you see your favorite eatery on the list, the county health department closed the restaurant until it cleaned up its act. All restaurants must prove that pest control and plumbing issues will not reoccur to remain open.

Following are the Coachella Valley restaurants that closed temporarily due to minor and major violations from the most recent ‘Food Facility Closures’ report issued Wednesday:

  • A customer at Big Juice Bar, located at 35947 Date Palm Drive in Cathedral City, reported witnessing a small child in the food preparation area of the juice bar. While there, an inspector noticed the juice bar was running two soft-serve ice cream stations without a proper permit and had a “vermin infestation.” The juice bar was closed until owners could resolve all issues and reopened on Aug. 1 with an “A” grade.
  • Lebiom Innova Cafe in Cathedral City, located at 68487 E Palm Canyon Drive, Suite #52, was temporarily shuttered July 25. Their permit was suspended, and no reopening date was available.
  • The Cathedral City restaurant Daniel’s Table at 68327 E. Palm Canyon Drive was temporarily closed July 25 after not maintaining a valid health permit. Inspectors have not yet posted a reopening date.
  • El Portal, also located in Cathedral City located at 32235 Date Palm Drive, Suite 101, was downgraded to a “B” grade Tuesday. A routine inspection uncovered a cockroach infestation inside the restaurant and multiple expired food handler cards among other issues. Due to repeated failed checks within two years, the facility was closed, and a sign must remain in the window until proper pest control is established. Inspectors will need to clear the issue for it to be resolved. No reopening date was mentioned in the report.
  • The Desert Hot Springs Spa, located at 10805 Palm Drive in Desert Hot Springs, failed its probationary inspection July 18, according to inspector Shanna Sidwell’s report. She noted multiple health violations, including “lack of ventilation, improper food storage temperatures, uncovered food, and a live lizard in the eating area.” After resolving the issue, the restaurant reopened for business July 27 and was given an “A” grade.
  • The McDonald’s, located at 14280 Palm Drive in Desert Hot Springs, was closed July 20 after rodents/insects were found inside, according to an inspector’s report. It took four days for the pest control issues to be resolved, and the restaurant was allowed to reopen on Jul. 24 with an “A” grade.
  • Desert Hot Springs’s TK Donuts & Chinese Express at 13313 Palm Drive, Suites H and I experienced failed air conditioning and refrigerators leading to a temporary shutdown. Inspectors arrived at the business July 28 after complaints that there was no air conditioning inside. Also, they found the walk-in and reach-in refrigerators were set at the wrong temperature. The facility was immediately closed until the refrigeration was repaired Aug. 2, and it was allowed to reopen, according to inspectors. The restaurant’s grade remained unchanged, according to reports.
  • In Idyllwild, a picturesque community that has served as the backdrop for Hollywood, Idyology, located at 54904 N. Circle Drive, was closed Aug. 11. Upon arrival, inspectors found rodents and ants infesting and contaminating the food preparation areas. Many food-contact surfaces showed “caked-on food debris,” inspector Julianne Hinde reported. The ice machine had black residue inside, and the inspector noticed a “large quantity of spoiled/rotten food in storage areas,” creating a health hazard. The restaurant was downgraded to a “C” and will remain closed until the health department grants permission to reopen.
  • Steamy Hallow in The Shops at Palm Desert, 72-840 Highway 111, Suite 317, was blemished Aug. 1 for operating without a valid health permit. The eatery reopened nine days after meeting health inspector criteria Aug. 10, reports show. The restaurant’s grade remained unchanged, according to reports.



Image Sources

  • A medium shot of a happy baker showing a fresh loaf of bread to the camera with an inspector standing next to him.: Shutterstock