Roaches, sewage, no permit: Restaurant closures, inspections in Riverside County, May 5-12

Here are the restaurants and other food facilities that Riverside County Department of Environmental Health inspectors temporarily shut down because of imminent health hazards between May 5 and 12, 2022 (plus one earlier closure that was not previously reported). If no reopening date is mentioned, the department had not listed that facility as reopened as of this publication.

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.

Non-closure inspections of note

Here are selected inspections at facilities that weren’t closed but had significant issues.

Playas de Ixtapa, at 256 E. 3rd St. in Perris, was inspected May 12 and received a failing grade of 71/C with two critical violations. The entire contents of the walk-in cooler had to be discarded because it wasn’t keeping cold, and there were also a few items that had been left out at room temperature. Also, silverware wasn’t being cleaned properly. Among the 16 other violations, there was an “excess” of cats, kittens and flies in an unapproved back warehouse storage area; mold was growing in a container of tomatoes and tomato sauce; some produce had been contaminated by spillage; and there were numerous issues with food being unprotected from contamination and equipment or surfaces needing cleaning and repair. The inspector told the facility to immediately stop using the unapproved warehouse area to store food or any items that would contact food. This was the restaurant’s second failed inspection this year so it now faces an administrative hearing.

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.

Rising Savor, at 3852 Chicago Ave. in Riverside, was inspected May 9 and received a failing grade of 80/B with two critical violations, both related to unsafe food temperatures. Four boxes of raw chicken had been left out on a prep table, cooked chicken and beef were being held in a melted ice bath, several pork roasts were being thawed incorrectly and cooked chow mein wasn’t being cooled down fast enough. Among the nine other violations, a cooler was impounded for not keeping cold, utensils and equipment had been put away dirty, the person in charge didn’t know cooking temperatures or cooling procedures, there was water damage to a restroom wall and surfaces throughout the facility needed cleaning. This was the restaurant’s first failed inspection in three years, following a span where it failed seven inspections and was shut down three times in five years.

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.

Updates from past weeks

The Jack in the Box at 29993 Canyon Hills Road in Lake Elsinore, which failed a May 6 inspection with a grade of 81/B and was closed because of a sewage backup, was permitted to reopen later that day. It passed a follow-up inspection May 9 with a score of 99/A.

La Michoacana Ice Cream, at 5621 Mission Blvd. in Jurupa Valley, which was closed May 5 for operating without a valid health permit, was permitted to reopen May 10.

About this list

This list is published online on Fridays. Any updates as restaurants are reopened will be included in next week’s list.

All food facilities in the county are routinely inspected to ensure they meet health codes. A facility loses four points for each critical violation — and may have to close if the violation can’t be corrected immediately — and one or two points for minor violations. An A grade (90 to 100 points) is passing. Grades of B (80 to 89 points) and C (79 or below) are failing and typically require the proprietor to make improvements and be re-inspected.

For more information on inspections of these or any restaurants in Riverside County, visit To submit a health complaint about a restaurant, go to or call 888-722-4234 during business hours or 951-782-2968 after-hours.