Pagoda (in Houston, Texas) is a chic yet simple Vietnamese restaurant and bar located in a converted house in the Heights. Pagoda has been open for at least seven months, yet despite the fact that we have driven by it numerous times, we never knew it existed. My husband and I went for a very late lunch over the weekend, so not unexpectedly, the restaurant was empty – although 30 minutes later another table was occupied.
We had our choice of seating so I selected a table by the window which overlooked the lovely water garden in the backyard. Our waiter was very friendly and efficient – especially when it came time to refill our glasses. I found the variety of music (that played throughout the restaurant) entertaining and relaxing which made waiting for our food very pleasant. We did not have to wait long though because our spring rolls were ready (made-to-order as well) within five minutes.
We had the Goi Cuon (also known as Vietnamese soft spring rolls) served with peanut sauce. The rolls ($4) normally contain shrimp and pork, but we ordered ours without pork. The spring rolls were excellent and with the spicy peanut sauce, they were even better. I would have to say the spring rolls at Pagoda were amongst the best I’ve ever had at any Vietnamese restaurant.
For my entrée I had the Pagoda Bowl which is char-grilled meat, chopped egg roll, cabbage, bean sprouts, cilantro, roasted peanuts, and vermicelli noodles served with a sweet and spicy fish sauce. The meat choices were pork, chicken or beef; I opted for chicken – assuming it would be white meat – but unfortunately it turned out to be dark meat chicken and was too fatty for my liking.
My husband also had the Pagoda Bowl but ordered his with beef which turned out to better than the chicken. My husband said the beef was tender, aromatic, and flavorful which made a good dish a memorial one; it made me wish I ate beef again.
With the capacity to serve up to 300 people (with both indoor and outdoor seating and their even t room), Pagoda can cater and host your next event or meeting. Their happy hour is between 5 PM – 7 PM from Monday through Friday; and fortunately for us, they also have a to-go menu. We’re over-the-moon that we have such a wonderful Vietnamese restaurant so close to us.
Pagoda is located at 4705 Inker Street, Houston, Texas, 77007. Their phone number is 832-673-0400. To find out more about Pagoda, visit their web site at: http://www.pagodabistro.com.