NYC to Get L.A. Style Restaurant Inspections
I lived in L.A. for two years before moving to New York, and while I was there I loved the fact that every restaurant had a health inspection letter grade posted in the window. This way you could see exactly how clean or dirty a restaurant was before eating in it. Seeing an “A” was always reassuring, but a “B” would only keep me out of places I knew nothing about. For example, seeing the “B” didn’t discourage me from eating at Mario’s Peruvian or the Baja Fresh across from my office. Although when the Baja Fresh got upgraded to an ”A” I suppose it made me feel a little better about things. (I think since I moved away Mario’s was upgraded as well.) I don’t think I ever ate a restaurant with a “C”. (In fact I probably only saw one or two in all the time I lived out there.)
But now that it is being reported that New York City plans on adopting the same style of inspections, I’m a little apprehensive. I don’t think I want to see a letter grade hung outside Hing Won or Ying Du. I prefer to keep eating at my favorite dirty Midtown Lunch places in blissful ignorance. I guess if it gives restaurants the incentive to improve their cleanliness, that is a good thing- but clean doesn’t always equal better food. Ying Du was forced to get rid of their old (and no doubt disgustingly dirty) meat roaster… and now some have complained that their roast pork doesn’t taste as good. Thanks a lot Department of Health. I’ll take dirty and tasty food over antiseptic boring food any day.
Photo courtesy of Spare Change