It's all the rage for state lawmakers to ask for things to be graded. First, it was Assemblyman Felix Ortiz asking that kids get graded on their weight. Now, State Senator Jeff Klein wants NYC restaurants to be graded on their cleanliness - and that the grades should be posted at the establishments. Klein's main complaint is that the Department of Health's website that allows diners to check on restaurants' health inspection is too cumbersome and not very easy to navigate; he wants something quick and easy for consumers to understand. Klein compiled a list of the state's ten "dirtiest restaurants," and the NYC joints on the list were Kitchenette on West Broadway, Trattoria Alba in Midtown and Salaam Bombay on Greenwich. The owner of Trattoria Alba claims that her restaurant shouldn't be on the list, as her problems with restaurant inspectors have been more about paperwork. And it's true: When Gothamist looked at the listing for Trattoria Alba, all it said was "Current valid permit, registration or other authorization to operate establishment not available," which is a problem, but nothing like having mice, as Salaam Bombay's latest inspection claims it does. (Kitchenette's inspection had the same "no current permit/registration" notation, as well as the presence of expired milk.) Gothamist is all for restaurants being cleaner, but perhaps instead of the letter grading system Klein wants there should just be a prominent sign that lists that this restaurant has been inspected and passed without MAJOR violations. Also, we'd like to suggest that the Department of Health also inspect restaurant bathrooms, as some are truly gnarly.
Kill some time by inspecting restaurants' health violations yourself! And the DoH tried to make headway in showing that inspections are cool by handing out awards to clean restaurants that went through their special program.