Well, we can’t say this is particularly shocking news. Vietnamese grease emporium Tu Lan (8 Sixth Street) was forcibly closed until further notice on Friday by the health department after repeated violations including (but not limited to) live mice and cockroaches in the cooking areas, eggs sitting out for three or four days, no proper hand-washing station, and workers who “were scratching themselves and handling food.” Loyal customers have witnessed some of this themselves, of course, since the kitchen’s right there in the open. Friday’s closure comes with more dire consequences for the thirty-plus-year-old restaurant, which risks permanently losing its permit after serious and repeated violations over the last eighteen months. As the Chron reports, the place was previously shut down for a day or two in January and September of last year, and April of this year.
In the past, owner Anthony Nguyen has made excuses to the city saying that he provides cheap food for the poor people who live on Sixth Street, but the health inspectors aren’t having it anymore. Nguyen will have to appear before the health director at the August 8 hearing, and an answering machine message at Tu Lan says it will be closed for a month, but to check back on August 20.
The restaurant has long advertised on the front of its menu that Julia Child herself was a fan, but of course the last time she dined there, as far as we know, was 1985.
Earlier this year, 100-plus-year-old Chinatown restaurant Sam Wo was shuttered by the health department, but the owners have appealed to the department and hope to reopen after a renovation. According to the department, only a couple of restaurants a year get their permits revoked for repeated violations.