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BREAKING: China Grill Shuttered by Dept. of Health

China Grill, from the Kalina Archive: It is definitely this empty at present.

Moments ago, the Department of Health shut down China Grill, Jeffery Chodorow's flagship restaurant (by far his best, too), for health code violations. A mid-lunch-service inspection resulted in offenses mostly related to improperly maintained walk-in refrigerators and the discovery of some insects, according to China Grill Management. To their credit, Chodorow's team is being open about the incident and forthcoming with information. Issues are being addressed and they're hoping to reopen in a few days, as the story goes. This is their statement to us, just in:

Jeffrey Chodorow and China Grill Management Statement
Regarding DOH Temporary Closing Of China Grill New York

China Grill has been open for 20 years and we are not aware of a single report of illness related to food production. We understand, however, that we are in a new zero tolerance regulatory environment as a result of recent high-profile closures. China Grill has had, for many years, an independent food service consultant firm with former New York City health inspectors that inspects the restaurant monthly for compliance. We have never, in the past, failed a health inspection. Our consultant’s most recent inspection occurred only one hour before the health department’s and he advised us that we would also pass this inspection. Unfortunately, during the height of lunch service, two of our walk-ins failed to maintain their temperatures by 1-2 degrees as a result of opening and closing the doors on a high heat and humidity day. Even though all of the product inside was at proper temperatures (except a few recently cooked items which were cooling inside), we were cited. We were also cited for such things as water on the floor of the dishwashing room, condensation in the walk-in (on a high humidity day) and a small number of found insects (no other vermin), principally in non-food production areas. We firmly believe that absent the current regulatory climate, this closing would never have occurred.

Having said that, while we may disagree with the results, we take our health obligations very seriously and have great respect for the health inspection system. Rather than trying to make excuses or split hairs, we are going to take this opportunity to get ahead of the curve, as there is no longer any margin for error. Our goal and our commitment is always to be in the forefront of compliance, [we are even installing new compressors in our walk-ins] and we look forward to reopening in a couple of days.

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