Customers Report Seeing Rats at Local Restaurant

The County Health System stepped in after receiving the complaints.

Some local residents are reporting their celebratory dinners out in downtown Redwood City recently have been ruined - by the presence of rats.

Two Redwood City-Woodside Patch readers have reported eating out at Koto Japanese Steakhouse at 373 Main Street recently, only to be gravely upset by spotting rats in the kitchen during their meal.

"We went to eat at Koto for my wife's birthday, and when we were finishing our food, I saw a rat coming from the kitchen!" reader Juan Flores wrote on Redwood City-Woodside Patch's Facebook page earlier this week. "It was white with brown hair. I was disgusted - my family had just eaten here!"

Reader Dahia Flores wrote on our Facebook page a few days later.

"Koto Japanese Restaurant at 373 Main St. in Redwood City is a mess!" Flores wrote. "Went there for my birthday dinner last week and reported seeing a rat."

The readers both said they complained to the San Mateo County Health System about what they saw.

According to records on the Health System's website, the department responded quickly to the complaints, and showed up for an inspection of the restaurant on Oct. 25.

Though Koto had received a "Good" rating at its last inspection in March of this year, what the inspector found this past week left the restaurant's rating downgraded to "Poor."

Several aspects of the restaurant's health status were marked as "Out of Compliance" this week:

  • Hands not clean and properly washed; gloves not used
  • Improper cooking times and temperatures
  • Improper eating, tasting, drinking and/or tobacco use in workplace
  • Food contact surfaces not cleaned and sanitized
  • Adequate handwashing facilities not supplied and accessible to employees
  • Wiping cloths not properly cleaned and stored
  • Presence of rodents, insects, birds or animals
  • Floors, walls and ceilings not properly built and maintained

Typically, a follow-up inspection is done within days of finding major violations such as these to ensure all violations have been corrected. If they have not been corrected, the restaurant could face temporary closure.

In other news, High Wheel Coffee at 926 Broadway was closed by the County Health System on Oct. 17 for operating without a valid health permit.

For more information about the County Health System, visit http://smchealth.org.

To file a complaint about a local food facility for not following healthy business practices, call 650-372-6200, e-mail the department at EnvHealth@smcgov.org, or use the department's Online Complaint Form to submit a complaint online.


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COH October 31, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Um - the husband named Flores took his wife out for her B-Day dinner. And the woman who posted on FB was also named Flores who went for her B-Day celebration. Same diners. But, yuck!
Judi Mahoney October 31, 2012 at 05:04 AM
Perhaps they are trying to push a non-Latino business out of the area....at first i was wondering if the rats were the 2 rat faced waiters at talk of broadway....
Heather November 02, 2012 at 04:26 AM
I'm doubtful about these reports. I've dined at Koto twice in the last month and thought it was impeccably clean. The servers are professional and really nice to kids. And if you eat on the teppanyaki side, the food is all cooked on a flaming grill right in front of your eyes. I can't vouch for the kitchen, of course.
Martha November 04, 2012 at 01:14 AM
My family and I go there all the time and the place always looks clean, the cooks are so friendly and nice. They know our kids and treat them like Rock Stars. I have never seen the kitchen, but I find it hard to believe. I'll keep going there, unless I hear something official.


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