On September 8, 2009 a Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations routine food inspection saw them running around the kitchen of Ola at Sanctuary (1745 James Ave., Miami Beach). Click here for the report.
The disposition of the report was "Emergency Order Recommended: Conditions have been found that endanger the health and safety of the public requiring immediate closure of the establishment."
A total of 17 live roaches were noted in the inspection report.
Another critical violation noted by the inspector read "objectionable sewage odors in kitchen area."
The restaurant is currently back open, and a followup inspection the next day confirms that roaches were no longer in evidence. Click here for the followup report.
We called for comment to the situation from the restaurant's manager and executive chef. Here's what they had to say:
Executive Chef Douglas Rodriguez - There were some roaches running around. We cleaned it up. We got a fumigator. We share the planet with roaches ya know. We were closed for 24 hours.
I'm not cooking there everyday, but I am there. My kitchen is open and I welcome anybody to come see how clean and organized it is. I'm very proud of that.
General Manager Mark Mcclenney - The inspector came in and did a routine inspection. There had been a lot of construction going on at the hotel so it stirred up some bugs.
The inspector wanted to force us to do a major spray so she shut us down and the next day she came in and was very happy.
We're very proud of what we do here and it was a little bump in the road. We took care of it and there's no problem now.
NewTimes: What about the violation for the sewage smell?
Mark: Anybody can come in and if they smell it let us know, but I don't notice it.
NewTimes: Does that mean it's there and you just don't smell it?
Mark: I don't believe it was ever there. The inspector came back the next day and cleared us of every single thing. I'm not gonna characterize why it was done. You look at the history of OLA in Miami and we've never had one issue and we get inspected twice a year.
NewTimes: Well, actually, she came back the next day and served you with two critical violations.
Mark: Well, one was an invoice problem. Certain fish used for our ceviche has to be flash frozen for 7 days, and we didn't have the invoice to reflect that.
The other one I can't even remember.
NewTimes: Critical. Violation: 22-17-1
Observed soiled reach-in cooler gaskets.
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SHOW ME HOW
Mark: That's just a matter of a bleach solution and wiping it down. That's an ongoing problem in Florida because of the humidity and we deal with that on an ongoing basis.
Our kitchen is open to anybody that would like to inspect it at anytime, and we regulary invite guests back there to meet the chef and see what he's doing so we're not ashamed of it at all.
I'm sure it's because its OLA, and because it's Chef Rodriguez.
Come visit OLA!