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“Don't bother”
Review of La Villa - CLOSED

La Villa
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed January 23, 2013

We decided to try try la villa because we live close by and eat out a lot. The atmosphere was typical Italian restaurant. I like Sinatra, but seriously it's not 1963.
The server handed us our menus and asked if we wanted something to drink. I asked if they had a wine list, we were told it was being revised. I asked if they had a Shiraz. The reply was no, but they had a Pinot Grigio and a white zin. Fail. My wife hinted that we meant we wanted a red. I asked what else do you have? The reply was " a merlot, a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Chianti. Brand? Price? Fail.
The vegetable oil with garlic powder and dried herbs was described as "dipping sauce" and came with bread that turned to crouton like dryness seconds after it was removed from under its protective napkin.
We ordered from the early bird menu. We have learned to start slow our first time anywhere here at the beach. My wife chose chicken Marsala and house salad, and I chose rigatoni with vodka sauce and salad. We were told the salad dressing was made in house and "it's Italian". The salad was crisp and fresh, but apparently dressed before they washed the greens, because it had no flavor. More crouton bread. Fail.
Our plates arrived and i was amazed. My pasta was a full 10 inch oval plate with a generous portion of pasta. My wife received half a grilled chicken breast (i would guess 3-4 ounces) with 5 slices of white button mushrooms, swimming in a light brown watery sauce. Mind you we payed the same $7.95 for our meals. Fail.
After her first bite she said "try this, did they make it with pancake syrup?" Which, to be honest, is exactly what it tasted like. My wife loves Marsala anything and has had it dozens of times, never has it tasted like pancake syrup, or been watery thin.
My pasta was on the north side of al dente, but acceptable. The sauce was a thinned down alfredo with some tomato paste for color. Not vodka sauce. But edible, and good thing because my wife was starving after having only that little bit of chicken.
All during the meal our server would walk by and try to make small talk with us. I don't mind attentive service at all, but I had a dinner date and she and I were doing just fine with each other. To make matters worse our empty plates sat in front of us as she chatted away. Excusable in a busy place, but we were literally the only customers in the place.
All in all, for a place with menus written in italian and $12+ entrees I am stunned at just how badly it was executed. I left feeling like who ever owns and cooks here thinks I'm an idiot and just wants to take my money.
Fail on service for lack of knowledge and basic service rules. Big Fail on food. Fail on value. Pass on atmosphere

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Thank pastrychefbrian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (62)
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34 - 38 of 62 reviews

Reviewed December 9, 2012

We decided to eat at this small local spot on a Saturday evening because it had gotten good reviews on Yelp. Food was okay but even though there were only a few others dining at the time, it took an hour and a half for the meal. Lighting was terrible, bathroom was not clean, and no ambiance at all. Overall it just seems like a sad little strip mall restaurant that's seen better days.

Thank ddblue33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 26, 2012 via mobile

Well we followed up our May visit with aSeptember visit and wad not let down. The food was excellent. Tasty and authentic. Our vacation.would have been incomplete without this visit back to La Villa. Thanks for a great meal.

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Thank tazmtnbiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2012

Our first visit to La Villa. It's just down the road and we are looking for a 'go to' non franchise Italian restaurant.

The place is nice. Small and cozy, located next to Inlet Square Mall.

Menu was typical, but ample for Italian. The entrees we ordered, lasagna and pasta ala vodka, were $12.99.

The bread and oil/herb combo was very nice. They were using a garlic infused oil that was different and we both liked it.

The salads with the fresh-made house italian dressing was also very nice. Not your typical italian dressing(using some of the garlic infused oil again) and tomatoes and thinly sliced fresh mushrooms had me excited about the main course.

There was a 40 minute wait after the salad before the meal arrived. Thursday night with 3 tables occupied. Thankfully we weren't in a hurry.

The pasta ala vodka was a disappointment. Instead of the rich sauce I'm used too (tomatoe cream sauce - prosciutto - vodka) it was a simple tomatoe cream sauce. No bad - but in a blind tasting I would never have guessed it was pasta ala vodka.

The lasagna was also a disappointment. The cheese filling (ricotta) was bland to a fault. I know good cheese is expensive but lasagna succeeds/fails on the quality/taste of the cheese used. There was also a spice used in the sauce that did not appeal to my wife. We both are experienced cooks and we could not determine what it might be. Overall not a good lasagna for us.

Service (other than the long wait) was very good

Normally I would try this place once more - but with so many places to chose from in this area it is unlikely we will.

In the end the food was not as good as Carabas and just a expensive. We will keep looking for our 'go to' mom and pop Italian restaurant in Murrells Inlet

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    • Atmosphere
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Thank wilson023
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2012

A really good place to eat, genuine Italian cuisine, I have eaten in Italy many times and this food would not be out of place. Excellent ingredients well seasoned and prepared. I had a Veal special, my wife the Spinach Ravioli in Cream sauce, my children had Lasagne and Meatballs with Spaghetti. We spoke with the Chef and his Wife, who ran the restaurant they were lovely people who cared what their customers thought of their food. They are both of proud Italian descent, this comes through in the cooking. If you like Italian food this is very much worth a visit.

1  Thank Shandor50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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