Behind the Kitchen Door: Asian buffet fails inspection, owner fires manager

Kin’s Cafe got a failing score of 68 on August inspection

SAN ANTONIO – An Asian buffet that barely passed a health inspection earlier this year failed its August inspection, but the owner told KSAT Investigates reporter Tim Gerber he’s made some major changes since then.

And a Chinese restaurant that has had repeated problems behind their kitchen door made slight improvements on their most recent inspection.

Kin’s Cafe

Kin’s Cafe, located in the 7800 block of I-35 South, got a failing score of 68 on its August health inspection. That’s three points lower than the score it got earlier this year when it was first featured on Behind the Kitchen Door.

This time, the inspector found food kept at improper temperatures that had to be thrown out.

Fly traps were found above a food prep area, while a metal tray was seen stacked on top of ready-to-eat meat.

An employee cooking meat couldn’t answer the inspector’s questions about food temperatures.

The interior of the ice machine had a buildup of black and yellow residue.

They were told to remove all dead pests and show proof of pest control receipts.

The business was also told to stop using old cans to store food items.

Several of the violations were repeats.

It had been several weeks since the failed inspection, so Gerber stopped by this week to see if the business had made any improvements.

Owner Ricky Liu said he’s disappointed by the low scores and pinned much of the blame on a former manager that he let go.

“She don’t care about our business. We find that out, and we fired her,” Liu said. “We also talked to the inspector, Rose. She checked it. She come back and reinspected it again, and she said everything is OK.”

Liu said he’s hired a new manager and has taken a more hands-on role with the business. He also added that they’re getting monthly pest control services and hope to have a higher score at their next inspection.

Beijing Express

Beijing Express, located in the 8000 block of Marbach, has been featured on BKD multiple times, most recently this past March when it scored a 70. The business improved a few points up to a 76 on the August inspection.

All of the food in a cold hold unit was too warm.

None of the employees washed their hands during the inspection.

All of the equipment needed to be cleaned top to bottom, and the entire business was in need of a cleaning.

A side door was found left wide open during the inspection. Gerber also found a door open when he stopped by the business this week.

Gerber tried to ask some questions about what the business was doing to improve. An employee at the front counter said she would get a manager, but a few minutes later, she asked Gerber to leave.

According to health department records, the last time the business scored above 80 was in September 2019, when it got an 82.

Score Guide

100-90 = A (Very Good to Acceptable)

89-80 = B (Acceptable to Marginal)

79 or lower = C (Marginal to Poor)

*Metro Health indicates that scores of 69 or lower are failing scores

Other scores from this week of inspections (7/30 - 8/05)

Dirty Dough, 100

19903 Stone Oak Pkwy


Panda Express, 100

14072 Nacogdoches Rd


Whataburger, 100

13900 O’Connor Rd


Wendy’s, 100

17614 Bulverde Rd


Las Palapas, 100

5530 Babcock Rd


Bar Louie, 99

15900 La Cantera Parkway


Reyna’s Taqueria, 98

9355 Loop 410 SE


Lenny’s Grill & Subs, 97

23503 Hardy Oak Blvd


Kim Tran Restaurant, 96

1015 Rittiman Rd


Church’s Chicken, 95

15171 Judson Rd


IHOP, 94

10622 Culebra Rd


In and Out Express , 93

14626 Nacogdoches Rd


Golden Corral, 92

1025 Military Dr SE


Lupita’s Mexican Restaurant, 91

5923 Culebra Rd


Shipley Donuts, 90

1240 Austin Hwy

Want to know who has good scores and who doesn’t? KSAT 12 has a new tool for that.

Just click this link, and it will take you to a new mapping tool we have showing the recent scores for San Antonio food businesses.

The reports go back six months and are frequently updated.

You can catch Tim’s BKD reports Thursdays on the Nightbeat.


Watch other Behind the Kitchen Door stories here

Behind the Kitchen Door image. (KSAT)

About the Authors

Dale Keller is senior news photographer at KSAT-12.

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