Price range: From $4.45 for chicken curry; $9.20 for lobster, to $18.40 for Chateaubriand for two.
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 3 p.m. to 9.45 p.m.; Sunday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Special facilities: Accesible to handicapped.
Reservations: Not required, but suggested for weekends. Space for parties can be reserved.
Credit cards: All major credit cards.
When we out, we look for that single characteristic in a restaurant that will help us to remember the evening.
Recently we left the Pagoda 7 Restaurant in the Iverson Mall shopping center, with delightful memories of Beef Kushi yaki, a dish of small chunks of beef on tiny skewers, which are barbecued one-by-one over the open flames of a table-top habachi.
The beef, dipped in the restaurant's own barbeque sauce, was the beginning of what turned out to be one of the best Chinese meals we've had. But when we mention the Pagoda 7, our girls - ages 2 and 5 can only think of the flickering flames of the habachi and the spicy beef barbecue.
As many times as we had stopped at Iverson Mall in Hillcrest Height, we had never really noticed the Pagoda 7, whose undistinctive facade blends into the scenery along the mall leading to Montgomery Ward's and People's Drug store. But when hunger struck one recent evening, we went looking for a new restaurant experience and found it at the Pagoda 7.
The restaurant's extensive menu offers a full selection of Chinese dishes, as well a Indian curries and some French cuisine. No American dishes are available.
The list of appetizers includes barbecued spareribs, $2.85; egg rolls, $1.10, and Chinese egg noodly soup, 75 cents. In addition, there is cucumber salad, $1.95, and Caesar salad, $2.35.
We selected a Chinese dinner combination recommended by the restaurant. The meal consisted of the Beef Kushi Yaki (as an appetizer), Pagoda 7 soup (a rich mixturr of chicken broth and chicken cubes, tomato, and egg white), Cantonese style shrimp, sweet and sour pork, chicken with toasted almonds and vegetables, fried rice, cheese cake topped with blueberry sauce and tea.
The dinner was designed for two and cost $8.50 each for my wife and myself. Our friendly waitress brought extra so the children could share the dinner, which was more than enough for all of us.
While we waited for the entree, the children had tropical fruit punch at 65 cents each, and my wife and I had a drink containing various fruit juices and coconut milk, for $1.25 each.
The Pagoda 7 is handsomely decorated with Asian artifacts such as crossed Samurai swords mounted on the wall and hand-decorated fans and tapestries. Large global lanterns hanging from the ceiling cast soft, peach-colored light across the lower dining room and a mezzanine dining area around the walls of the restaurant.
The atmosphere, with music piped in through ceiling speakers, is pleasant and unhurried. The food was served hot and waiters and waitresses kept close check to see if they could give us further assistance.
Although the Pagoda 7 does not have booster chairs or high chairs for small children, the dining room help make a valiant effort to make everyone comfortable. In our case, big phone books wrapped in towels made adequate seats for our girls.
The total bill for dinner for the four of us was $27.63, including dessert for the children, tip and taxes.