Rodents, fire damage, no permit: Restaurant closures, inspections in Riverside County, May 20-26


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 20 and 26, 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.

Carlos Liquors, 2990 14th St., Riverside (partial closure)

  • Closed: May 24
  • Grade: 80/B, failing
  • Reason: Rodent infestation. The inspector saw rodent droppings on food boxes and packaged cups and lids, and below the soda dispenser counter, where there was also a package of sunflower seeds that had been gnawed on. The facility was told to stop selling any open foods including fountain soda and repackaged ice, but could keep selling prepackaged items. Among other violations, food in one area of the walk-in cooler wasn’t cold enough, the facility’s water was not quite hot enough and there was mildew in the ice machine.

New India Sweets & Spices, 1320 W. Blaine St. Suites ABC, Riverside (partial closure)

  • Closed: May 20
  • Grade: 68/C, failing
  • Reason: Rodent infestation. There was one freshly deceased mouse in a snap trap. Numerous bags of food had been gnawed through, and a case of potatoes under a sink had large chunks chewed out. The inspector also found rodent droppings “too numerous to count” on to-go containers, prep tables, food-contact equipment, shelving and floors in the rear prep area and behind the dessert counter, plus some droppings in the front customer area. Among other violations, no employees were properly washing hands, including one who went back to handling food after disposing of the dead mouse. An employee was washing dishes using only water, not soap or sanitizer, and utensils throughout the facility that were stored as if clean were encrusted with food debris and residue. The facility’s water was not quite hot enough, numerous containers of food were stored uncovered, there was a pool of stagnant water on the floor in the back, and surfaces throughout the facility needed cleaning and repair. The facility was allowed to keep selling prepackaged and non-food items but not any open or prepared food until the rodent problem is eliminated. This was the facility’s first failed inspection and closure since 2018.

Romano’s Macaroni Grill, 3591 Grand Oaks, Corona (in Crossings at Corona center)

  • Closed: May 20
  • Grade: Not graded
  • Reason: No hot water. The inspector visited in response to a complaint. The manager said the water issues had started the night before and a new water heater was being installed when the inspector arrived, but employees hadn’t stopped preparing food.
  • Reopened: Later that day

Four unpermitted food stands were shut down May 20 in Jurupa Valley. In addition to not having permits, a health department spokesperson said none of them had potable water so they could not properly wash hands or dishes; all had food from unapproved sources and not being protected from contamination; and the three taco stands had food at unsafe temperatures. The locations were:

  • Taco stand at 10230 Granite Hill Drive, Jurupa Valley
  • Crepes stand at 3798 Country Village Road, Jurupa Valley
  • Taco stand at 6195 Homestead St., Jurupa Valley
  • Taco stand at 6172 Pats Ranch Road, Jurupa Valley

Denny’s, 82120 Highway 111, Indio

  • Closed: May 17
  • Grade: Not graded
  • Reason: Fire damage. A health department spokesperson said there was a grease fire and the restaurant self-closed.

Non-closure inspections of note

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

The Fountains at the Carlotta senior living community main restaurant, at 41505 Carlotta Dr. in Palm Desert, was inspected May 25 and received a failing grade of 83/B. The restaurant had a cockroach infestation, but it didn’t have to close because cooking operations could be moved to a cafe at the facility that was no longer operating. The inspector saw live roaches under and behind equipment at the cookline, under the mechanical dishwasher and the manual dishwashing sink, and “swarming” around a wall panel when a rolling rack of cups was moved. Among other violations, some cut fruit was at an unsafe temperature and one refrigerator wasn’t keeping cold enough.

Taqueria el Sinaloense, at 73850 Highway 111 Suite G in Palm Desert, was inspected May 25 and received a failing grade of 85/B. Among the 10 violations, none of which was marked as critical, food was at unsafe temperatures in a flip-top fridge that was impounded for not keeping cold, the facility’s hot water was not quite hot enough but the water heater was turned up right away (a recurring issue, the inspector noted), some peppers in a box were spoiled and frozen meat wasn’t being thawed properly.

George’s Drive Inn, at 9910 Magnolia Ave. in Riverside, was inspected May 24 and received a failing grade of 73/C with two critical violations. Multiple items of food had been left out at room temperature, and several employees including the operator neglected to wash hands. Among the 15 other violations, the inspector noted “signs of rodent infestation at the cabinet under the meat slicer” as well as gnats, the customer restrooms didn’t have soap or paper towels, and the floors, shelving and equipment needed cleaning. The restaurant previously failed two inspections in 2019.

Updates from past weeks

Santorini Greek Cafe, at 68375 E. Palm Canyon Drive in Cathedral City, which was closed May 10 because of a cockroach infestation, was permitted to reopen May 23.

Jalisco Market & Deli, at 17725 N. Indian Canyon Drive in North Palm Springs, which was closed May 3 for operating without a valid health permit, was reopened May 17.

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.

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