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Your tax dollars at work: The one list area restaurants don't want to make

February 27, 2009 | 12:41 pm

Ratvermininfestation Most people are familiar with the letter-grade restaurant ratings that the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health doles out (A, B, etc.) to drinking and dining establishments around the city.  But few taxpayers probably take the time to look at this list, which is updated on a regular basis and tracks the temporary closures of bars, restaurants and fast food outlets all over town.

It's safe to assume that it's the one list in town restaurant and bar owners pray they never end up on.  I spied a few spots I've been at over the last few months, and it sent a tiny shudder down my spine when I saw the reason cited for one closure (vermin infestation).  To be fair, most, if not all of the restaurants that were cited have since cleaned up their acts.  And even restaurants with spotless kitchens sometimes get unlucky when inspectors drop by (mice are sneaky little fellows).

Regardless, it's nice to know that officials are looking out for repeat offenders, and keeping diners from getting sick.  See if any of your favorites are on this dreaded food facility temporary closure list, which is searchable via ZIP Code.

-- Charlie Amter

Photo: Does a 10-foot inflatable rodent have rights? The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in early February that this inflatable rat put up by union protesters outside a Dunkin Donuts distribution center in Woolwich, N.J., has free speech rights. (Brian Branch-Price / Associated Press)

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