July 2, 2022

Kam Lun Chinese AGAIN!

There seem to be a lot of especially gross reports in this week's list of health department inspections in the Press-Enterprise, including this bit: "the inspector saw several dead cockroaches, including in a pot on the stove" [Pho TYC, Wildomar]. But there were only these three in the Coachella Valley.

Kam Lun Chinese Food, 66610 8th St., Desert Hot Springs
Closed: June 29
Grade: 81/B, failing
Reason: Failing an inspection while on probation. Among the 13 violations, the inspector saw rodent droppings in several areas including by the food-prep sink and a microwave; there were flies at the cook line; cooked meat was sitting at room temperature and an employee said the practice is to leave it on the counter until it’s ordered; shrimp, beef and eggs were at unsafe temperatures in a refrigerator that was impounded for not keeping cold; dishes weren’t being washed properly; raw and ready-to-eat foods weren’t adequately separated; and the floors, walls and ceilings needed cleaning. The restaurant has been on probation since last August after failing three inspections and being shut down twice for rodent infestations in a two-year span. This is its second failure and closure since going on probation. To reopen again, it would have to correct all violations and purchase a new health permit.
The restaurant at Desert Falls Country Club, at 1111 Desert Falls Parkway in Palm Desert, was inspected June 22 and received a failing grade of 80/B with one critical violation. Dishes and other surfaces weren’t being sanitized. Among the 11 other violations, the inspector saw a live cockroach in a walk-in cooler and two dead roaches in other locations, meat and cheese were at unsafe temperatures in a cook-line fridge, the bar area didn’t have hot water, the women’s restroom didn’t have cold water and there was a long list of items that needed cleaning and repair. On June 29, the restaurant passed a follow-up inspection with a 97/A.
The restaurant at Terra Lago Golf Club, at 84000 Terra Lago Parkway in Indio, was inspected June 20 and received a failing grade of 82/B with one critical violation. The inspector saw rodent droppings on top of the food prep sink, on the back of a unit for holding hot food and on the floors, and noted rodent and cockroach traps in the kitchen and bar areas, as well as dead flies in the bar area. Among the 10 other violations, some food wasn’t being kept hot, there was pink mold in the ice machine and equipment, floors and walls needed cleaning. On June 23, the restaurant passed a follow-up inspection with a 94/A.

permalink | July 2, 2022 at 09:02 AM | Comments (0)

June 25, 2022

Ketchup Popsicle

In Canada, you can buy factory-made ketchup popsicles, but French's has also made the recipe available for those who just want to make their own:

  • 3¼ cups (810 milliliters) tomato juice
  • ½ cup (125 milliliters) French's® Tomato Ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) FRANK'S RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
  • Caesar Rim ["salt, spices (including red pepper), sugar, citric acid, corn maltodextrin, dehydrated onion, natural flavour (contains soy)"]
  1. WHISK tomato juice, Ketchup and RedHot sauce in large pitcher or measuring cup until well blended.
  2. POUR mixture into popsicle molds of your desired shape and size. Freeze at least 8 hours or until solid. Serve frozen, sprinkled lightly with Caesar Rim, if desired.

One undefined serving contains 11 grams carbohydrates and 658 mg sodium.

If you like to experiment, add some mayonnaise into the recipe and let us know how it turns out.

permalink | June 25, 2022 at 08:26 AM | Comments (0)

May 14, 2022

County Health Inspectors Busy In Coachella Valley

From the Press-Enterprise:

Pho Na 92, 14220 Palm Drive, Desert Hot Springs

Closed: May 11
Grade: 75/C, failing
Reason: Cockroach infestation. The inspector saw live and dead roaches throughout the kitchen, as well as egg casings on the dishwashing sink and roach droppings under the food-prep table. There was also a dead roach in the sanitizer compartment of the dishwashing sink, which was filled with dirty water and food equipment. Among the 13 other violations, an employee didn’t wash hands after handling raw shrimp and eggs, raw eggs from an unapproved source were left at room temperature, and the facility needed cleaning, including a cooler that had food debris and a mold-like substance inside.


Santorini Greek Cafe, 68375 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Cathedral City

Closed: May 10
Grade: Not graded (most recent was 90/A on April 4)
Reason: Cockroach infestation. During the April 4 inspection, there were two roaches crawling on a wall and some roach casings in a storage area. During this week’s follow-up, the inspector saw a live nymph cockroach and several dead ones on the walls, and also noted some holes in the walls as well as food debris and standing water that could be attracting pests.


Bill’s Pizza, 119 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

Closed: May 5
Grade: Not graded
Reason: Overflowing sewage. An inspector responding to a complaint found an active sewage overflow from the facility’s shared restroom. The restaurant had already self-closed and a plumber was on site.
Reopened: May 6


Jalisco Market & Deli, 17725 N. Indian Canyon Drive, North Palm Springs

Closed: May 3
Grade: Not graded
Reason: Operating without a valid health permit. A health department spokesperson said it was long-expired.


The Del Taco at 14290 Palm Drive in Desert Hot Springs was inspected May 12 and received a failing grade of 77/C with two critical violations. An employee used a lid that had just been rinsed but not washed or sanitized. Also, there was an issue with food not being hot enough. Among the 11 other violations, there were flies throughout the facility, an employee didn’t wash hands, employees didn’t know proper cooking temperatures and multiple surfaces needed cleaning.

The Denny’s at 82120 Highway 111 in Indio was inspected May 11 in response to a foodborne illness complaint. It received a failing grade of 83/B with 14 violations. Among them, some food was at unsafe temperatures, including items in a prep cooler that was impounded for not keeping cold; the men’s restroom soap dispenser wasn’t working; and surfaces and floors throughout the kitchen needed cleaning.

Tacos Los Olivarez, a food truck based at 83711 Peach St. in Indio, was inspected May 5 while it was at a “Concerts in the Park” event at the Palm Desert Civic Center. It received a failing grade of 84/B with one critical violation. The truck’s hot and cold water weren’t operational. Staff chose to self-close and leave the event, so this was not counted as an official health department closure, a spokesperson said. Among the seven other violations, food was not being kept at safe temperatures and there were numerous flies in the vehicle and in the open flip-top salsa unit, which didn’t have a screen on it and was available for customer self-service, which is not permitted.

permalink | May 14, 2022 at 08:13 AM | Comments (0)

April 9, 2022

Health Department Report For This Week

From the Press-Enterprise:

Blue Coyote Grill, 445 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs

Closed: April 7
Grade: 72/C, failing
Reason: Excessive flies. The inspector, visiting in response to a foodborne illness complaint, saw flies landing on and crawling in washed lettuce in the food-prep sink, a container of tortilla chips, clean plates, cutting boards and below the bar counter and sinks. There were also four dead cockroaches in a cabinet and two more in the bar area. There were two other critical violations: Food was at unsafe temperatures in a refrigerator that was impounded for not keeping cold, and cooked food wasn’t being cooled down fast enough. Those led to well over 100 pounds of food being discarded. Among the 12 additional violations, there was biofilm in an ice machine, the person washing dishes didn’t know manual dishwashing procedures and the facility needed cleaning.
Reopened: April 8

Meng’s Filipino Cuisine, at 34091 Date Palm Drive Suite B in Cathedral City, was inspected March 30 and received a failing grade of 81/B with one critical violation. Meat skewers that had been left in the handwashing sink and a tilapia that had been put in a bowl of hot water to defrost that morning and left underneath the dishwashing sink were at unsafe temperatures. Among the 11 other violations, dishes weren’t being washed or sanitized properly, a fly swatter with a dead fly stuck on it was hanging next to clean dishes, food was being stored uncovered or in unapproved plastic bags, and the floors needed cleaning. The restaurant passed a mandatory follow-up April 6 with a score of 95/A.

permalink | April 9, 2022 at 09:56 AM | Comments (0)

March 26, 2022

Health Department Inspections in the Coachella Valley

From the Press-Enterprise:

China King Restaurant, 295 N. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

Closed: March 18
Grade: 68/C, failing
Reason: Cockroach infestation. The inspector visited in response to a complaint and found five or six roaches on a wall behind hanging utensils and another one on the floor. There were three critical violations: An employee killed a roach with bare hands and then touched diced bell peppers without washing. Food was also contaminated when an employee placed a trash bag on food at the prep table, and because raw chicken and beef were touching in overfilled containers. Additionally, shelled and pooled eggs were at unsafe temperatures, and tapioca balls and hoisin sauce that required refrigeration had been left out for two to three days. Among the 15 other violations, an employee said utensils are washed only once a day (at least every four hours is required), weed killer was stored next to the meat grinder, cooked pork wasn’t being cooled down safely and the facility needed cleaning. This was the restaurant’s second failed inspection since 2019.


Wang’s in the Desert, 424 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

Closed: March 18
Grade: Not graded
Reason: Rodent infestation. An inspector visited in response to a complaint that someone saw multiple rats. The owner was aware of the problem and said they’d been working with pest control. The inspector found droppings throughout the facility, including inside containers of clean dishes, on shelves holding clean dishes and open containers of food, below prep tables and cooking equipment, on shelving at the food pickup window, in the customer dining area and in the employee break room. There were also gnaw marks and droppings on a package of salt.
Reopened: March 23 after pest control visited twice and affected areas were cleaned. The inspector did find a few old droppings on the floor behind some cardboard.
New grade: 92/A, passing


Sammy G’s, at 265 S. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, was inspected March 18 in response to a foodborne illness complaint and received a failing grade of 81/B with one critical violation. Several items were at unsafe temperatures in the walk-in dairy refrigerator, which was impounded for not keeping cold. Among the 11 other violations, cooked chicken and pasta had been left at room temperature to cool, there was biofilm in the ice machine, knives had been put away dirty, there were a few flies, the inspector found two old rodent droppings in an unapproved food storage area that wasn’t properly vermin-proofed, and the restaurant needed cleaning. This was the restaurant’s second failed inspection since 2019.

To Go Sushi, at 40101 Monterey Ave. Suite G2 in Rancho Mirage, was inspected March 16 in response to a foodborne illness complaint and received a failing grade of 80/B with one critical violation. The sushi chef didn’t wash hands after using a dirty towel. Among the 11 other violations, raw tuna and imitation crab were at unsafe temperatures in two coolers, one of which was impounded for not keeping cold; other prepared food wasn’t being cooled down safely; and utensils weren’t being sanitized properly.

permalink | March 26, 2022 at 08:08 AM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2022

PBR Comes To Desert Hot Springs

"Pabst Labs, a cannabis beverage company, unveiled its brand new manufacturing facility and distribution center in Desert Hot Springs." "Pabst Labs produces Pabst Blue Ribbon’s 10mg High Seltzer, Not Your Father’s Cannabis-Infused Root Beer, as well as ST IDES Cannabis product lines, including its 100mg infused 4oz shots."

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that High Seltzer will be available for sale anywhere in the Coachella Valley. Their website lists dispensaries and delivery services up and down California, but nothing out here in the desert. How demoralizing!

permalink | March 25, 2022 at 03:03 PM | Comments (0)

March 19, 2022

Carniceria Rancho Grande

From Riverside County Department of Health inspections reported in the Press-Enterprise.

Carniceria Rancho Grande, at 13313 Palm Drive in Desert Hot Springs, was inspected March 16 and received a failing grade of 81/B with one critical violation. Multiple items of food were at unsafe temperatures, including a container of cooked tomatoes sitting on the floor and a container of pickled carrots that had been at room temperature since it was delivered a week before. Among the 11 other violations, there were many flies in the facility, with some landing on the cutting boards, as well as some other small bugs on a wall and a dead cockroach in a hole in the wall; an employee kept wiping his hands on his dirty apron; dishes were being washed but not sanitized; and several areas needed cleaning or repair. This was the market’s second failed inspection in less than two years so it now faces an administrative hearing.

Wilma & Frieda’s, at 155 S. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, was inspected March 16 and received a failing grade of 80/B with two critical violations. Food was at unsafe temperatures in three coolers that were impounded for not keeping cold. A dishwasher also was impounded for not dispensing sanitizer. Among the nine other violations, there was an empty cockroach trap next to food in one of the nonfunctional coolers, cooked chicken wasn’t being cooled down fast enough and several areas needed cleaning.

Rick’s Restaurant, at 1973 N. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, was inspected March 15 and received a failing grade of 80/B with two critical violations. Some food was at unsafe temperatures in a refrigerator that wasn’t keeping cold. Also, a fly landed on biscuit dough on a prep table. Among the eight other violations, there were old rodent droppings in a food storage area (but no evidence of live rodents) and the facility needed cleaning.

permalink | March 19, 2022 at 09:59 AM | Comments (0)

March 5, 2022

Kam Lun Chinese

From the Press-Enterprise:

Kam Lun Chinese Food, 66610 8th St., Desert Hot Springs
Closed: March 2
Grade: 80/B, failing
Reason: Failing an inspection while on probation. There was one critical violation, for an employee using the same scoop for raw shrimp and raw diced vegetables. Among the 12 lesser violations, the inspector saw one live nymph cockroach at a handwashing sink and a dead roach on the food-prep sink, there was a dead fly on the dishwashing sink drainboard, there were rodent droppings in an outdoor storage area, a spiderweb was hanging from the ceiling near the walk-in cooler, cooked wontons were at an unsafe temperature, multiple containers of food were not being protected from contamination, and equipment and other surfaces throughout the restaurant needed cleaning. The restaurant has been on probation since August after failing three inspections and being shut down twice for rodent infestations in a two-year span.

permalink | March 5, 2022 at 06:52 AM | Comments (1)

February 26, 2022

Palm Springs IHOP

The Press-Enterprise reports on the latest from the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health:

IHOP, 471 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
Closed: Feb. 24
Grade: 80/B, failing
Reason: Rodent infestation. An inspector visited in response to a complaint from someone who said that her husband got sick a day after eating there, and that she heard rodents in the ceiling and saw droppings on the floor. The inspector saw rodent droppings on top of boxes and on the floor in a storage room, on the floor near a refrigerator and on a sticky trap under a sink. Among other unrelated violations, the dishwasher was impounded for not dispensing sanitizer and equipment needed cleaning.

permalink | February 26, 2022 at 08:11 AM | Comments (0)

February 21, 2022

Four Shot On KONO! Monolit 64 Film

These were all shot on KONO! Monolit 64 film last month.
Copley's On Palm Canyon (1)

Cyclist Waiting (1)
At the corner of Tachevah and Palm Canyon
.

Cholla (1)
A cholla just outside of Joshua Tree National Park
.

Albert Frey's Cree House From Above (4)
In the foreground: Albert Frey's Cree House
.

permalink | February 21, 2022 at 08:21 PM | Comments (0)

February 9, 2022

The Speaker's Soup Police

permalink | February 9, 2022 at 05:05 PM | Comments (0)

January 30, 2022

The Thin Bread Crust

Thin Bread Crust

permalink | January 30, 2022 at 06:28 PM | Comments (0)

December 14, 2021

A Christmas Video

Modeling chocolate!

permalink | December 14, 2021 at 08:15 PM | Comments (0)

October 16, 2021

Oat Shortages Coming

According to this WSJ article, oat futures are double what they were last year. The main causes are (1) a 13% reduction in the acreage planted this year and (2) dry weather.

“Supplies will be tight,” said Jack Scoville, a grains analyst with Chicago trading firm Price Futures Group in a note. “There will not be much in the way of high quality oats for consumers to buy in the coming year.”

permalink | October 16, 2021 at 09:31 AM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2021

Nice Nutrition News

Reports of specific foods that are supposed to be beneficial to health are as common as dirt and contradict each other at least twice a day, so you might as well pick out the reports you like. Here's a nice one based on Iowa State University research and published in the Journal of ALzheimer's Disease:

Here are four of the most significant findings from the study:
  1. Cheese, by far, was shown to be the most protective food against age-related cognitive problems, even late into life;
  2. The daily consumption of alcohol, particularly red wine, was related to improvements in cognitive function;
  3. Weekly consumption of lamb, but not other red meats, was shown to improve long-term cognitive prowess; and
  4. Excessive consumption of salt is bad, but only individuals already at risk for Alzheimer’s disease may need to watch their intake to avoid cognitive problems over time.

IOW, you can't just drink red wine, you've got to eat cheese too. Or, better, take a trip to Greece.

permalink | October 15, 2021 at 08:56 PM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2021

Southern Culture Contribution

We can always look to our southern states for ideas on how to use sugar in novel ways.

DEAR HELOISE >> My grandkids love ice cream, so I usually keep some cones and ice cream on hand for when they visit. Unfortunately, they never seem to finish the cone until it’s leaking at the bottom.

The next thing I know, I’m washing everyone’s shirt. Finally, I started to place miniature marshmallows in the bottom of the cones, and no more leaky ice-cream cones!

— Colleen F., Bainbridge, Georgia

permalink | October 13, 2021 at 09:58 AM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2021

Candy Corn Has Been "Upgraded"

Brach's is producing "Turkey Dinner + Apple Pie and Coffee Candy Corn." "Flavors include Green Beans, Roasted Turkey, Cranberry Sauce, Ginger Glazed Carrot, Sweet Potato Pie & Stuffing." One wonders if "Sweet Potato Pie" really just means more of the ubiquitous pumpkin pie spice flavor. There seems to be a tie-in with Walgreen's, but I don't imagine they'll have a monopoly on this mélange.

permalink | September 25, 2021 at 02:02 PM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2021

3D Printing Chicken With Frickin' Lasers

The cutting edge in the food extrusion industry right now is crafting real chicken breast meat into some kind of shape using lasers that can also cook 'it.'

The laser-cooked chicken retained twice as much moisture as conventionally cooked chicken, and it shrank half as much while still retaining similar flavors. But different types of lasers produced different results. The blue laser proved ideal for cooking the chicken internally, beneath the surface, while the infrared lasers were better at surface-level browning and broiling. As for the chicken in plastic packaging, the blue laser did achieve slight browning, but the near-infrared laser was more efficient at browning the chicken through the packaging. The team was even able to brown the surface of the packaged chicken in a pattern reminiscent of grill marks.

I'm looking forward to the art project that scales this up to a size suitable to appear on the playa at Burning Man.

permalink | September 23, 2021 at 09:22 PM | Comments (0)

August 13, 2021

Date Shake History

Here's an interesting and informative podcast on the history of dates and date shakes in the Coachella Valley. I'm sure I don't need to caution my informed readers to beware of the claim that somehow date sugar is more "natural" than refined sugar and, therefore, is safer for diabetics. Sugar is sugar.

permalink | August 13, 2021 at 09:48 AM | Comments (0)

June 26, 2021

Bouchee Cafe & Deli

From this Press-Enterprise report on restaurant closures:

Bouchee Cafe & Deli, 72785 Highway 111 Suite B1, Palm Desert

Closed: June 24
Grade: 80/B, failing
Reason: Cockroach infestation. The inspector visited in response to a complaint and found live and dead roaches throughout the facility, including inside and outside of the food display case (all the food inside was discarded), in the warewashing sink and dishwasher, and crawling on the silverware. There were also roach droppings throughout the facility including on utensils and napkins and in sinks. This was the restaurant’s second failing grade in less than two years, so it now faces an administrative hearing.

permalink | June 26, 2021 at 08:55 AM | Comments (0)