TAMPA, Florida— Known for their $3.99 specials, Asian Cuisine on Busch Boulevard in Tampa serves a full menu of Chinese and Japanese-style food.
The restaurant opened under new management earlier this year but was ordered to temporarily close just months later after a state health inspector wrote the restaurant up with 59 violations
The issues included chicken wings found thawing in the sink at room temperature, food not covered in the walk-in cooler, small flying insects in the food prep area, along with numerous live roaches found in a cold-hold drawer under the cook line.
"That actually sounds pretty gross to me," said one former customer. "I wouldn't want to eat there again now that I'm hearing information about that."
10 News stopped in after the restaurant was allowed to reopen checking to see if conditions had improved.
Owner Donna Zou invited us inside the kitchen, saying her and her husband took over and worked to sanitize the entire kitchen.
"It's an old restaurant here so when we move in we clean really well," Zou said.
The restaurant opened under new management but was forced to close months later with 59 violations.
But the inspector still reported finding numerous violations issues having nothing to do with the age of the restaurant including food debris around the kitchen and potentially hazardous foods improperly stored to prevent cross contamination, problems that still existed on our visit a week after the state issued warnings to get those problems corrected.
In the walk-in cooler we spotted what appeared to be half eaten leftovers right above raw foods and numerous other containers uncovered, a large bucket of salt with a dirty to-go cup and other old food debris inside.
"It's just sauce," Zou said of the red residue on the scoop in the food storage bucket.
There were also personal belongings -- someone's belt, deodorant, and a razor blade -- right next to the pancake mix, all potential violations.
Zou showed us where the live roaches were discovered a week earlier.
"It wasn't used," she said of the emptied-out cold-hold drawers where the bugs were previously found.
And while we didn't see any live insects on our visit, there were still dead bugs around including one in the handle of the mini refrigerator and another smashed on the floor behind the wait station.
Owners admit there is still room for improvement inside their kitchen.
"Some things we still need to figure out. Like a restaurant that have a lot of stuff every employee needs to be very careful," Zou said.