Here at The Lo-Down, we know our readers care a lot about local restaurants. We are all fortunate to live, work and play in a neighborhood stocked with interesting places to eat and drink. We welcome the new ones and look forward to giving them a try; we grieve the loss of old favorites; and we love to analyze all the ones in between.
This month, we are launching a new restaurant feature: The second Wednesday of each month, we’ll post a summary of the previous month’s health department inspections for eateries in the 10002 ZIP code.
Under a grading system implemented last July, the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene inspects about 24,000 restaurants annually. The system was implemented amid significant protest from the restaurant industry, which labeled it unfair and gimmicky and predicted it would force many restaurants out of business.
Inspectors issue points for failing to conform to regulations on food handling, personal hygiene, vermin control and other sanitary, safety and administrative issues. The restaurants are then given letter grades, which must be posted where patrons can easily see them. Zero to 13 points is an A; 14 to 27 points is a B; 28 points or more is a C.
Restaurants that earn a C are re-inspected roughly once a month until either they raise their score, or the health department shuts them down. A restaurant can also contest its grade, and in that case, is allowed to post a “Grade Pending” certificate until its appeal is heard.
In the year ending April 30, 2011, 37 percent of all restaurants in the five boroughs received an A grade, while 42 percent received Bs, according to a city report. Five percent were closed by the health department and the remaining 16 percent received C grades.
Because we know it’s a tough business, and that inspection results offer only one snapshot in time, we have chosen to list only those that earn 28 or more violation points, or a C grade. In a nod to excellence, we’ll also be calling out the establishments that earned 3 points or less. For more details on how the city grades restaurants, see the guide (opens a PDF).
Because of the way the search function works on the city’s website, we cannot link directly to individual restaurant reports here, but you can visit the website, type in the name of any restaurant and view the details of all recent inspections.
Here’s the report for last month:
First, the good news — Noodle Bar at 172 Orchard St., which was inspected on May 11, earned zero points. Hawa Smoothies, a relatively new place at 181 E. Broadway, earned only two points during its May 25 inspection. Rounding out the best scores of the month were Best Fuzhou, 71 Eldridge St., 3 points on May 16; Desserts NYC, 155 E. Broadway, 3 points on May 23; and Xi’an Famous Foods, 88 E. Broadway, 3 points on May 11.
Here’s the 28 points and over list, from highest score to lowest:
|China Favorite (Closed By Health Dept.)||96 E. Broadway||5/19/2011||76|
|Lok Sing Chinese Restaurant||290 Grand St.||5/18/2011||68|
|Noodle King||19 Henry St.||5/9/2011||54|
|Neway Ktv||90 Eldridge St.||5/6/2011||47|
|Wa Lung Kitchen||557 Grand St.||5/18/2011||45|
|Fu Zhou Wei Chinese Restaurant||88 E. Broadway||5/18/2011||44|
|Shalom Chai Pizza||357 Grand St.||5/17/2011||44|
|Mangiami||9 Stanton St.||5/18/2011||43|
|Kuta||65 Rivington St.||5/24/2011||42|
|Epstein’s Bar||82-84 Stanton St.||5/9/2011||41|
|New Living Room Cafe||154 Ludlow St.||5/24/2011||40|
|388 Cafe & Deli||1-3 Eldridge St.||5/20/2011||40|
|Reach House Chinese Restaurant||88 Division St.||5/5/2011||38|
|Saro||102 Norfolk St.||5/24/2011||37|
|Kush||191 Chrystie St.||5/25/2011||36|
|Fuleen Seafood Restaurant||11 Division St.||5/18/2011||36|
|Fontana’s||105 Eldridge St.||5/23/2011||35|
|East Corner Wonton||70 E. Broadway||5/9/2011||35|
|Donnybrook||37 Clinton St.||5/25/2011||34|
|Fuji Catering||27 Ludlow St.||5/6/2011||34|
|New Spring Boy Chinese Restaurant||81 Allen St.||5/20/2011||32|
|Gude Gude||70 Forsyth St.||5/9/2011||32|
|49 Hua Xia||49 Division St.||5/6/2011||32|
|Double Dragon Restaurant On Eldridge||13 Eldridge St.||5/23/2011||31|
|La Isla Cafe||212 Delancey St.||5/10/2011||30|
|East Seafood Restaurant||17 Division St.||5/23/2011||29|