The grisly particulars of a $1,500 fine imposed by a judge against Big in Japan on June 3 have been divulged, thanks to Le Journal de Montréal. Stéphan Dussault writes that the popular Plateau restaurant, once featured on Anthony Bourdain's The Layover, drew the notice of city inspectors after two complaints in 2014.
One customer allegedly found an adhesive bandage in a plate of food; another took exception to the filthy state of the restaurant and the apparent presence of vermin. Indeed, inspectors later uncovered "a lot" of mice excrement at Big in Japan. Food was also found to have been stored at improper temperatures. Moreover, inspectors observed "mildew on the walls, floors around gas stoves covered with a layer of hardened, brown grease, and tables bathed in a sticky orange liquid." It was summarily determined that owner André Nguyen had not heeded an earlier report's proposal to get his restaurant up to snuff. As a result, Big in Japan was ultimately fined $1500 this past summer.
Dussault writes that "no fine was suggested for the vermin. 'All of Saint-Laurent boulevard has this problem. Our exterminator passes every month,' disclosed a spokesperson for the restaurant." News of Big in Japan's brush with inspectors comes amid Nguyen's alleged plan to expand next door into the former Rolopan, a bygone crêpe restaurant, and amid troubles for sister restaurant Maison June Rose.