Restaurant Report Card: Denver’s most-fined restaurants in 2019

Restaurant Report Card
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DENVER (KDVR) — Below are some of the restaurants in the city and county of Denver that received the most fines for health violations in 2019:

Pho Le (Now Pho Vietnamese Restaurant) – Fined $3,500

The most-fined restaurant in Denver and previous offender on Restaurant Report Card is Pho Le, which goes by Now Pho Vietnamese Restaurant. Inspectors fined the South Federal Boulevard location $3,500 for repeat temperature violations.

Health department pictures from 2019 inspections show construction inside the restaurant.  Reports say employees were preparing and serving food while work on a renovation project was underway. Reports also said inspectors found:

  • Fire hazard with electrical wires hanging over plumbing
  • Rodent droppings
  • Heavy build-up of grease

Health inspectors were back at the location on Federal in mid-February ensuring ongoing compliance.  

Cheesecake Factory (16th Street Mall location) – Fined $3,250

The 16th Street Mall location is the second-most fined restaurant in Denver, paying $3,250 in fines. Inspectors were at Cheesecake Factory 10 times last year to ensure compliance. Inspectors found repeat temperature violations and conducted food safety training. Health experts were back two weeks ago and found no mistakes.

Ocean Prime – Fined $1,500

The Larimer Square location rounded out the 10 most-fined restaurants in Denver, paying $1,500 worth of fines. Inspectors found repeat temperature issues. Ocean Prime is at 1465 Larimer St.

California Pizza Kitchen (Cherry Creek location) – Fined $1,500

It’s the same fine and mistakes for California Pizza Kitchen in Cherry Creek.  The popular restaurant paid $1,500 in fines and threw out chicken, cheeses and pasta for being held too warm.

An inspector was back at Ocean Prime and California Pizza Kitchen Jan. 30 to check on proper temperature food holding and found both locations meeting code.

Denver Department of Public Health and Environment’s Abby Davidson said, “In general, we have seen great compliance based on someone receiving a fine, then we do not see them repeating the same violation over and over.”

The Problem Solvers are also doing their part with weekly inspection reviews on Restaurant Report Card.

“The investigators do hear, ‘Am I going to be on Restaurant Report Card? If I am, I want it to be the ‘A’ on restaurant report card.’ I definitely think it’s been an incentive for some folks to want to do a good job,” Davidson said.

Denver’s Most-Fined Restaurants of 2019:

Facility Name Address Total Fines ($)
PHO LE 1195 S FEDERAL BLVD 3500
DOMO RESTAURANT 1365 N OSAGE ST 3500
LOS MOLCAJETES TAQUERIA 100 N Knox Ct 3500
CHEESECAKE FACTORY, THE 1201 16th St 3250
TAQUERIA LOS GALLITOS 2630 W ALAMEDA AVE 3000
BRAVOS GOURMET 6510 N POPLAR 2750
TAQUERIA 7 SALSAS #2-CLOSED 4460 MORRISON RD 2500
TEXAS DE BRAZIL CHURRASSARIA (C) 8390 E NORTHFIELD BLVD 2500
MOON GATE ASIAN GRILL 745 N QUEBEC ST 2500
PANADERIA/TAQUERIA CONTRERAS (C) 3570 MORRISON RD 2500
ETAI’S 8400 PENA BLVD 2250
DENVER PHO 1 2200 W Alameda Ave 2250
SUNSHINE BOWLS 1623 N SAINT PAUL ST 2250
DENVER POKE COMPANY 1550 Platte St 2000
SAIGON BOWL 333 S Federal Blvd 2000
RODEWAY INN – RFE 3975 PEORIA WAY 2000
TAQUERIA LA BUEN SASON-CLOSED 1800 S Grove St 2000
CALIFORNIA WRAP RUNNER 7608 DANKS DR 2000
LITTLE INDIAS FOOD TRUCK 2390 S DOWNING ST 2000
LA SALVADORENA PUPUSA 1020 S Raritan St 2000
LATINO TACOS 20495 E 47th Ave 2000
LAZO 1319 22ND ST 2000
STEEP-CLOSED 4100 E 8th Ave 2000
CF – ORIGINAL BERRIE KABOB, THE 11933 S Black Horn Cir 2000
SUSHI BAY 1728 E 17th Ave 2000
SPROUTS FARMERS MARKET 3625 E COLFAX AVE 2000
SAFFRON GRILL 898 Kipling St 2000
RICO POLLO III 5195 N FEDERAL BLVD 2000
MINIMOOS AND KIDS TOO GOAT DAIRY 1221 HIGH ST 2000
SUPER CARNICERIA COMPARE 2796 S FEDERAL BLVD 2000
SCOTTIES CATERING 9100 TEJON ST, UNIT 222 2000
POPEYE’S FRIED CHICKEN 2122 E COLFAX AVE 2000
TACOS Y SALSA #2 910 S FEDERAL BLVD 2000
EL ELOTE FELIZ 1020 W 70th Ave 2000
LOVE’S OVEN 225 N Mariposa St 2000
KM CONCESSION INDOOR PORTABLES 1325 E 46TH AVE 2000
KING SOOPERS 2810 N QUEBEC ST 2000
ANTHONY’S PIZZA & PASTA 10890 E DARTMOUTH AVE 2000
WINCHELL’S DONUT HOUSE 6550 E EVANS AVE 2000
EL TACO H 3962 N Jericho St 1750
NEW SAIGON #1 630 S FEDERAL BLVD 1750
ORIGINAL HAMBURGER STAND 1205 N FEDERAL BLVD 1600
NATURAL GROCERS BY VITAMIN COTTAGE 3909 E EVANS AVE 1500
OCEAN PRIME 1465 Larimer St 1500
FRUTERIA & CARNICERIA LA MEXICANA 706 N SHERIDAN BLVD 1500
CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN 3000 E 1ST AVE 1500
BENNY’S CANTINA 301 E 7TH AVE 1500
JUST BE KITCHEN 2364 15TH ST 1500
WOODGRAIN BAGELS 7559 E Academy Blvd 1500
PIG & SPROUT, THE 1900 Chestnut Pl 1500
LESLY’S FRUIT 6725 W MISSISSIPPI AVE 1500
SUBWAY #20418 1512 LARIMER ST 1500

Check your favorite location:

Denver County

Tri-County Health Department

Jefferson County

Weld County

How restaurants appear on our Report Card

Restaurant Report Card features health inspections in the city and county of Denver, Jefferson County, Weld County, Broomfield and restaurants under the jurisdiction of the Tri-County Health Department. The Tri-County Health Department includes Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties.

An inspection is a “snapshot” of what is happening during the day and time of the inspection. On any given day, a restaurant could have more or fewer violations than noted in an inspection. Also, at the time of an inspection, violations are recorded and can be corrected prior to the inspector leaving the restaurant. If violations are not corrected, a follow-up inspection is scheduled.

The criteria FOX31 Denver uses to give a restaurant a failing grade includes the evaluation of two unannounced inspections by county health inspectors.

A failing restaurant must have five or four critical violations on their most recent regular inspection and five or four critical violations on the previous regular inspection. The restaurant may also fail for eight or more violations in one inspection. Health inspectors may conduct critical or follow-up inspections, due to the number of critical violations found during a regular inspection. Those inspections may also be considered for our reports.

We recognize restaurants with two regular inspections in a row, with no critical violations, by awarding them an A.

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