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Thai Eatery Room Service in Chelsea Closed by Health Department

By Mathew Katz | April 11, 2013 12:59pm

CHELSEA — A popular Thai restaurant on Eighth Avenue was shut down by the Health Department after a Monday inspection found a host of violations, including questionable food and evidence vermin.

Inspectors issued Room Service at 166 Eighth Ave. a stunning 58 violation points after the April 8 inspection. The probe found that food at the restaurant was not cooked to a safe temperature and that cold food was left unrefrigerated, according to a report by the city's Department of Health.

The restaurant is known throughout the neighborhood for its cheap lunch specials, where diners can get pad thai, curries or even grilled turmeric chicken with rice and an appetizer for a mere $6 to $8.

Chelsea's Room Service has long competed with a rival restaurant of the same name on Ninth Avenue in Hell's Kitchen. That Thai restaurant has a better recent track record — scoring 17 violation points during a recent inspection — but was shut down in October after inspectors found evidence of flies and mice in the kitchen.

The Chelsea spot had vermin of its own, according to the report, as inspectors there found both evidence of mice and live roaches in the restaurant.

Room Service was closed for lunch Wednesday, and staff had covered a notice from the Health Department notfiying the neighborhood of the shutdown with a potted plant. Staff at the restaurant did not respond to requests for comment.