In an attempt to beat the Department of Health at their own game, a few restaurants around the city have apparently been posting A grades in their windows, even if their inspections ranked them far from. The Daily News spotted a suspicious A at Ming's Chinese take-out on 9th Avenue, which was labeled "Sanitary Inspection Grade" and came complete with the city's seal. But when they looked up the greasy joint on the DOH website, violations including evidence of mice and roaches showed up.

A manager at Ming's said a "company" came in and issued the grade, though refused to tell the paper the company's name. If caught by the DOH, they could face a fine of up to $1,000. Dan Kass, Deputy Commissioner for Environmental Health, said, "Any restaurant can legitimately earn an A grade by operating a clean restaurant with trained and well-supervised staff, which is cheaper to achieve than paying fines, losing customers, and running the risk of losing its permit."

However, the DOH is defending itself, saying it's next to impossible to fake their letters. But considering the grades are fairly new, most New Yorkers probably don't know how to tell a legitimate one from a fake. For reference, real grades must be posted in the window and be printed on card stock, and have a raised seal in the corner. Ming's letter was posted on the counter, and printed on paper. Looks like Le Bernardin may have to think of another plan.