It was a rare sunny day that brought me out for a walk down Commercial Drive. A trip to Home Depot, some new pants at Spank and lunch at Red Pagoda were on the agenda.
Red Pagoda is one of the restaurants that appeared during my absence from living on Commercial. This spot used to be an Indian restaurant that I enjoyed, but I am happy to have a pho restaurant on the Drive! And even happier that it was good pho.
I was lucky to get a nice booth window seat. I like the decor of the restaurant. A couple of booths in the window and nice leather chairs for the rest. I really liked the giant sized art on the walls with the red lanterns.
I am trying to be more adventurous with my pho selection so I went with the #19- Pagoda Special Beef Noodle- medium rare beef, well done flank, beef brisket, beef meatball and tripe" $7.75 and, of course, the spring rolls $5.50
Okay, here is where I admit that I am only 50% adventurous. I asked her to leave out the tripe. It's the texture I don't like. She did tell me that it also had tendon, which is not listed in the menu description. I haven't tried tendon so I went with it. (Note to self for future: I don't like tendon.)
First off, I was happy that the beef was actually served rare as I have been having a run of not rare beef lately. The broth was flavorful and thankfully not too salty. I would have liked more meatballs in the soup, but that is just a personal preference for the meatball. They only offer one size of soup and I was worried that it would be too large, but this was the perfect sized serving.
The spring rolls were good, if a bit thin. They were cooked perfectly- very crunchy. I really liked the presentation except for the chipped dipping sauce bowl. Did they not notice or do they not care about chipped dishes? Neither is an option I like. Chipped dishes really bug me.
A note on the bathrooms- so clean and nicely decorated. That was nice to see.
I am excited about going back to try some of the other dishes they have to offer. Everything looked so good as they were bringing it to other tables. They have some fun cocktails on the menu such as the Pagoda Lychee Colada $6.50 (Malibu Rum, Lychee, Pineapple juice, Grenadine) that I would love to try. Eating alone at noon on a Saturday didn't seem like the right time for a cocktail. Maybe if it was after 1:00...