Golden Pagoda, Los Angeles 1940s
The Golden Pagoda with its five-level tower outlined in neon lights to give off a golden glow at night was an immediate hit when it was founded in 1941 in the New Chinatown neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Black and white photographs taken during the era show that locals and tourists came from far and wide to view the iconic architecture and taste Cantonese and Mandarin-style dishes in the opulent interior rooms.
This menu is from the mid to late 1940s when the amount restaurateurs could charge was regulated by the OPA Office of Price Administration during World War II.
Complete family-style dinners were offered at 75c or $1 per person, with a deluxe version at $1.25.
The pagoda was modeled on the famous Summer Palace in Beijing and featured in films and television series like the detective show The Rockford Files, starring James Garner, who famously had a shoot-out at the Golden Pagoda. Apparently, the stairs were lined with autographed photographs of the stars who filmed there or visited.
The restaurant changed hands in the 1980s and became Hop Louie, continuing its run as a popular and iconic dive bar and restaurant.
It closed in 2016 and there were plans to re-open the historic eating spot but, as of today, the restaurant and its pagoda remains fenced off, waiting to be brought back to life.
We believe the original owner of The Golden Pagoda was Chester Quan, who died at the age of 95 in 2008.
Courtesy Private Collection.
Each order includes a print of the interior menu.
All printed in USA.