Originally an Inn for horse-riding travelers (the horse tie posts are still standing), It became the Pagoda Inn in 1966 and has been owned by the Chan family since 1993. The dining area isn't as tacky as many Chinese places seem to get, being tastefully colorful with the expected smattering of photos from China. The seats are all comfortable and hug your bum nicely. Take-out is the foundation of their business, so you rarely have to wait for a table. Service is fantastically friendly. The nicest I've met. Upon sitting you're met with a rather standard array of Chinese offerings. It's the quality and depth of flavor that separates their food. Their fried rice is complex, with a variety of ingredients that other establishments seem to ignore, such as green onions. Standouts are their crab rangoons, sweet & sour pork, and a house-made duck sauce that is to die for. Other items are fairly by-the-numbers, but it's all cooked with great skill and choice ingredients, save for the use of dark meat instead of white in the General Tso's. The drink menu, compliments of bartender Kyle Chen, is diverse and colorful. It's a treat for those who like wild-looking drinks. Previously, like most Chinese places, the dessert menu is non-existant. Recently, though, the son of the owners, Danny, has begun baking and now offers a wide array of baked goods under the wildly inventive name, ""Desserts by Danny."" He uses real butter in his desserts, no shortening, and it shows. They are quite delicious and I recommend taking a package home. I do not give it five stars because, while its food may have warranted five stars 10 years ago, it is no longer the far-and-away best. Many other places with good food have opened, recently, including Seven Moons. Moreover, while its traditional recipes are some of the best Chinese-American this side of Chinatown, they lack inventiveness and flair. Even still, Pagoda Inn remains one of the greats.
Pros: Excellent food and service. Very good prices.
Cons: Quality is dodgey near closing time. No flair and inventiveness.