Today, the Village Voice's Robert Sietsema revisited Astoria's Czech restaurant Zlata Praha, which he calls the "most respected" Czech joint in the neighborhood. But in between describing their "excellent homemade kraut" and the gravy boats, he missed one little detail—they've been shut down by the city Health Department for a slew of violations.

We noticed the Health Department sign plastered to their door last night, and a look on the Health Department's website shows they got a whopping 86 points on their March 16th inspection (28 points is a C grade). Violations include, "Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility's food and/or non-food areas," "Food from unapproved or unknown source," and the killer, "Duties of an officer of the Department interfered with or obstructed." The Health Department told us:

Astoria’s Zlata Praha was inspected on 3/16/11, resulting in 86 points for sanitary violations. The food service establishment (FSE) was ordered to close for extreme vermin infestation, as approximately 130 mice excreta were noted in various locations throughout the establishment. During the inspection, the operator of the FSE refused to allow the inspector to access areas in the basement food storage area. As a result, the operator was also cited for interfering with the duties of Health Department personnel, a violation of 3.15(a) of the Health Code. As of today, the operators of this FSE have not contacted the Health Department since Astoria’s Zlata Praha was closed. The operators must correct all the cited violations and meet with agency food safety staff to discuss the process to reopen.

Nobody at Zlata Praha picked up when we called, but another sign outside last night said they were only temporarily closed. Still, just what were they hiding in that basement? If it was just the secret ingredient that made the meat platters so good, one hopes it wasn't because they were pulling a Mrs. Lovett.