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“Great wine, great service, mediocre food” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Vila Thai Cuisine - CLOSED

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Vila Thai Cuisine
9 East Congress Street, Tucson, AZ 85701
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Price range: $6 - $14
Cuisines: Thai
Restaurant details
Level Contributor
23 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great wine, great service, mediocre food”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2012

My husband and I went here with high expectations. We were immediately greeted by a friendly hostess, then our waiter. Our waiter suggested we participate in the wine tasting, which turned out to be excellent (although lacked any relationship to Thai food.) The problem started and ended with the food. It was bland. We ordered it spicy and it had heat, it just didn't have much flavor. Next time we'll eat first then sit at the bar and enjoy the wine and service.

  • Visited February 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

35 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“So disappointed.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2011

Wow, how I wanted to like this place. I love what they did with the patio, and was excited to finally have decent Asian food in downtown. Sadly, my family and I were seriously let down. First, we inquired about the drink special, which was a vodka special and the waiter had to go back and ask someone. He then told me about their infused vodkas which I naturally assumed were on the special. Not so when we got the bill, 9 bucks when I was expecting 5. The we ordered our food, pad Thai (passable but too salty) and green curry. No riceights with he curry. Waiter dropped it off and didn't return until food was cold. Finally got the rice and a lukewarm apology. Portions were quite small in comparison to other Thai restaurants we're used to. Had another problem with the bill besides the vodka; appetizer was charged at $2 more than the menu price. The waiter corrected it after it was pointed out, but it was weird: almost like he already knew it was wrong. Overall, prices were pretty high for Tucson and especially in comparison to other (much tastier) Thai food in town. Live music on the patio was a little on the cheesy side, but they did have baseball on a big flat screen which was nice.

I may try this place again at lunch in case they were just having a bad night, but at this point I'm still waiting for some decent Asian food downtown.

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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Level Contributor
16 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Nice place, attentive staff, good food.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2010

I dined at "Vila" solo on a Friday evening in January. Arrivwed about 5:00. Restaurant is difficult to find. Not great signage from the street. It is upstairs and around the corner from university blvd. Went there based upon proximity to where I was and reviews found here. Looked like they had plenty of indoor or outdoor seating depending on the weather. I was greeted upon entering the door and offered my choice of seating, place was 3/4 empty. Chose a seat where I could watch people, Tried to order a "singh ha", no luck they were out. Apparently they had a big private affair the night before and were out of many things(beer choices and food selections...didn't have all day to go out and replenish, I guess). I started with the Chicken Satay. I usually judge a Thai place by the quality of their peanut sauce. This place hit the nail right on the head with theirs. It had all the personality a person would want. bit o' kick, plenty of interesting spice, and of course a bit of texture. It wasn't your garden variety "jif with some coconut milk". The chicken portions were plump moint and cooked to perfection, with the obligatory slight grill marks. 10 out of 10 in my opinion. Soooo, I decided to stay and eat a meal. I ordered the Paht Thai with chicken. Ordered it at a 4* spiciness level. Ity arrived looking like no paht thai noodle dish I had eaten. I am not sure this dish had ever seen any fish sauce. It tasted different than any other noodle dish I had ever eaten. I wouldn't have eaten much of it, as it was. Peanut sauce to the rescue!! I ordered a side of Peanut sauce, for which, I wasn't charged. and gave the noodles a little pick me up. It was delightful with the blend of the original flovor of the noodles and the addition of the peanut sauce. Completely enjoyed it! I looked up half way through my meal to see that the place was PACKED and people were now waiting in line to sit and eat. GOOD SIGN... I heard a few mumblings about being out of some offerings, but my experience was quite good. Servers were very attentive, didn't matter to which server I belonged to, they all worked to make me feel welcome and well taken care of. I think that I would definitely give this place another opportunity to feed me. Music that was complained about in past reviews was not an issue, it was background level, and upbeat contemporary. Not a distraction, diversion, or overbearing. Beer was cold, food was hot and staff was friendly. Price was a bit higher than I am used to paying in Seattle, didn't mind.

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
“Beware if you are sensitive to spiciness and to mandatory 20% gratuities”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2009

Their 0-5 spiciness rating system is a joke; order the pad thai if you want only a mild dish. I ordered a curry that was much hotter than what I asked for. Being pressed for time, I decided against sending it back to the kitchen, and forced myself to eat enough of it to satisfy my hunger. After the burning subsided a bit, I could taste more of what it was supposed to taste like, and it was OK. Still, I notified the waiter about the mistake, and he apologized in a smarmy manner something about curry being a bit "tricky," whatever that means. He also seemed more interested in pushing the wine at $5 a glass than in answering questions about the food; he seemed less knowledgeable about the latter. Another sore point was that they added a 20% gratuity to the bill in advance of showing it to us. Our party was not large enough to justify this. Classy restaurants leave it up to the customer to add an amount of their own choosing after inspecting the bill.
On the plus side, they have comfortable seating and some good appetizers; the coconut prawns were delicious.

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Tucson, AZ
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Amazing Thai Restaurant - Best in Tucson”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2009

I have eaten at nearly every Thai restaurant in Tucson (if there are any that I haven't, I am unaware of their existence) and Vila is far and away the best. The vegetables are amazingly fresh, the brown rice is always a delight, and summer rolls are downright addictive. The service can be a little inexperienced and slow but never rude or obnoxious. The owner herself is wonderful to deal with. I have been with friends, large groups and by myself, for lunch and dinner. My only complaint is that the coconut sticky rice could be a little sweeter but I probably don't need the calories either. This is a great restaurant and a real gem on our culinary scene. I am getting a hankering for their summer rolls just writing this. Enjoy!

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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