The Health Department currently identified about 15 restaurants that have been branded with the dreaded C grade for cleanliness, or lack thereof. But the restaurateurs aren't exactly bragging about it, and the Post has confronted some of the owners about why they haven't put up the C in the window. The tabloid also compiled a list of all the C recipients and dubbed them "The Filthy 15." The greasy envelope filled with mouse droppings, please:

  1. Red Curry Thai, 339 Lexington Ave., Manhattan
  2. Uptown Juice Bar, 54 W. 125th St., Manhattan
  3. Picardias Mexicanas, 102-21 Roosevelt Ave., Queens
  4. Tu Sabor Latino, 3864 Broadway, Manhattan
  5. New Hong Kong Restaurant I, 1838 E. Tremont Ave., Bronx
  6. American Taste, 414 E. Fordham Road, Bronx
  7. Cafe Felix (right), 340 W. Broadway, Manhattan
  8. Bay of Bengal Kebab, 2914 36th Ave., Queens (Out of business)
  9. Rice N Tea, 82-74 Broadway, Queens
  10. Dragon Land Bakery, 135 Walker St., Manhattan
  11. Bread & Pastry Cafe, 330 Bleecker St., Manhattan
  12. Eurasia Cafe, 602 Brighton Beach Ave., Brooklyn
  13. Boulevard Pizza, 89-04 Queens Blvd., Queens
  14. Gus’s Deli, 35-60 11th St., Queens
  15. Americana Diner, 6501 Seventh Ave., Brooklyn

A restaurant with 14 to 27 violation points gets a B, and those with more than 28 points would get the C. But if a restaurant's grade is lower than an A, the owner does not have to immediately post a grade until it has a chance to improve its sanitary conditions; the Health Department returns within a month to conduct a second inspection. After that, if the condition has not improved, the grade posting is required by law, and restaurants that fail to post grades face $1,000 fines.

But the Post found that only seven of the C restaurants posted the grade. At Red Curry Thai, the C grade went up and down last week. On Monday, at the department's insistence, the C grade was prominently displayed. But on Wednesday, it was replaced with the "grade pending" sign. Then, on Friday, the C returned. Manager Brian Chen insists the C was always visible in a corner of the window, and the restaurant's most recent inspection resulted in just 15 violation points, which would put Red Curry in the B+ range. Nevertheless, the Health Department still has it listed as a C on its website.

For more, we turn to Best C Grade Restaurants, a blog that's dedicated itself "to those special eating establishments where their most recent DOH inspection qualifies them to wear the Caramel Letter. If it doesn't have roaches floating around the floor or mice nibbling your cheese, who seriously cares?"