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[whitespace] Tory's Restaurant


Chew Fly, Don't Bother Me:
Tory's Restaurant, 10457 S. De Anza Blvd., Cupertino

By Will Harper

WITHOUT EVEN going inside Tory's on a recent Saturday night, I knew right away that this Chinese restaurant deserved a nomination to the Dirty Dozen. There, on top of a menu posted in the window, rested a handful of dead flies, an expired yellow jacket and a deceased yum-yum bumblebee.

But dead bugs in the window didn't seem to have put much of a damper on business this night. The place was packed with hungry customers.

On the way to the bathroom in the back, I saw bus trays filled with dirty dishes sitting on the floor. The rear door near the restroom was open, even though county environmental health inspectors have repeatedly told the owner of Tory's, Fuk Cheung Ho, to close the door to prevent flies from coming in.

This year alone, county officials have shut down Tory's on three separate occasions, the most closures suffered by any restaurant in the valley during the new millennium.

County officials shut down Tory's the first time this year on Feb. 1 after restaurant operators didn't fix numerous housecleaning problems--like storing dishes on "soiled shelving"--cited during an inspection three days earlier. Tory's re-opened the next day after cleaning up the place.

During the next official visit on Feb. 29, inspector Joe Scott didn't close Tory's, but gave it a "poor" rating after observing questionable practices like: chopping blood-red raw meat near vegetables; leaving five raw chickens hanging above a big container of lettuce; storing beans and sauces inside their original metal cans and chopped lettuce in a garbage container; thawing fish and chicken in bins left on the floor. And, of course, the flies were still buzzing around.

Scott did order the place closed a few days later when, following up on a complaint, he found stinky garbage--containing discarded meat and lettuce--piling up behind the facility, attracting flies. He also saw employees--who presumably walked through the backed-up sewage all over the floors--standing on counters to stack cups on hard-to-reach shelves as well as "climbing atop the cookline prep counter to clean the metal backsplash area."

Tory's re-opened the next day after cleaning up the garbage and removing the wastewater from the floors.

Finally, county officials shut down Tory's a third time on May 25. According to the official closure notice, inspectors "once again" observed sewage from the pot-washing sink draining onto the floor in the food prep area and "a gross accumulation of grease and filth."

Metro was unable to interview owner Fuk Cheung Ho, who says he doesn't speak English.

I did, however, get a chance to nibble on some of the Chinese cuisine at Tory's a few days after my initial Saturday night visit.

I resisted ordering seafood--there's just something cruel about eating fish while surrounded by their live underwater brethren nervously watching from the aquariums. Instead, I went with the chicken with hot garlic sauce.

The meal came with egg-flower soup, which has never been a favorite of mine and didn't become one after I finished this particular bowl. The menu promised hot garlic sauce for the main course, but I couldn't detect anything other than salty soy sauce.

But let the record reflect that the bugs in the window had been removed by my second visit.

RATING: 1.5 forks

Introduction: Bottom Feeders.

Making The List: The methodology and ratings.

Not on the Menu: Gruesome complaints and bizarre things allegedly found in food.

Wok on the Wild Side: Asian restaurants still get disproportionately high rate of poor inspection reports.

A Fowl Feeling: Mai Garden Restaurant in San Jose.

Fast Food Frightmare: Mr. Chau's Chinese Fast Food in Palo Alto.

Overly Greasy Spoon: Bob's Surf 'N Turf in San Jose.

Not Cool Enough: Gordon Biersch in Palo Alto.

Pastor Its Prime: El Mexicano Taqueria in San Jose.

How Fresh? Fresh N Healthy Vegetarian in San Jose.

Chill Is Gone: Nola in Palo Alto.

How Now Stale Bao? Thanh Mai in San Jose.

Coffee To Go, Please: My My Coffee and Sandwiches in San Jose.

Vermin in the Vermicelli: Florentine Restaurant in Mountain View.

Off-Screen Horror Show: Century Capitol 16 Theaters in San Jose.

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From the June 8-14, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.

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