Rainbow Garden is the best Chinese restaurant near the campus (UIUC) and probably one of the best Chinese restaurants I've been to anywhere. Food and decor are priority number 1, the food was excellent and the decor was good. I really don't see what one of the other decors meant by "decor has gone downhill," the walls are red/festive, the ambiance is just right, there's an abundance of Chinese portraits and trinkets, and the (bench) seating is good. That being said, the service was just what I would expect from any heavily dine-in restaurant. The waiter explained what went into the dishes we were looking at, refilled our water often, and asked us if we needed more rice when he saw we were running out. I was lucky to get there right before dinner rush because the place quickly filled up. I'm not sure if they accept reservations, but if there are and you're coming late on a weekend night, I would recommend making one just in case.
I went with a friend for dinner on February 5, 2011 (a Saturday night), and we shared sesame chicken and sizzling beef. Those two dishes are extremely good by any standards, so if you haven't been there yet and are considering it, go there and order them (if you're walking there from campus though, expect a hard time getting there during the winter because the sidewalks in that part of town aren't cleared often). The sesame chicken isn't the typical, in-chunks oversweet/overfried/overbattered Amercanized type, it's a lightly fried breast cut lengthwise and down the middle with just the right amount of tangy sauce and a lot of sesame seeds. The sizzling beef was a little spicy, and when it was brought to the table, it was making a sizzling/crackling sound and steam was coming out of it. It is very tender, a little spicy, and is mixed with carrots, peapods, etc...With those 2 dishes and 15% tip (we just had water for drinks by the way), the total was $22.66, very worth it. Lunch is, of course, cheaper and unlike dinner it doesn't just come with rice, but also an eggroll and soup. That was a good dinner and I will definitely be coming back.