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“Terrific in every way”

Villa Romana Pizzeria & Restaurant
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Italian, Pizza
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Sunset
Cross street: 9th Avenue
Reviewed January 15, 2012

We visited San Francisco with friends from Texas and were looking for great pizza. The bartender at a bar in Pier 39 recommended this family owned and operated business. Tony jr and Tony sr were fantastic and we had the best food and service. We will be back and it will be a new stop on our visits to San Francisco!

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Thank Txcali
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (22)
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16 - 20 of 22 reviews

Reviewed December 6, 2011

The pizza here is fantastic and so is the meatballs. A small family run business that's been here for 56 yrs. We will be back soon :))

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    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank CaliforniaLosthiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
Reviewed December 31, 2007

love the pizza.

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
Reviewed December 19, 2007

Nice little family joint. Good for outings with grandma. Big portions.

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2007

A Valentine's Day to remember -- and NOT in a good way.

My husband and I were looking for a new Italian restaurant to try. We'd heard that Villa Romana was a nice, family-owned place, so after reviewing the online menu, we thought we'd give it a try. What a mistake.

The meal started out on a very positive note. The ceasar salad was delicious! Crisp lettuce, fresh parmesan, very tasty croutons and dressing that was about the best we've ever tasted. Not too fishy, not too tangy, but just right. But everything went downhill from there.

The other appetizer we ordered was the Calamari Fritti -- the restaurants "signature appetizer since 1955." Although the calarmari seemed fresh and not too chewy, it had clearly been fried in VERY old, stale oil. If you've ever experienced something fried in oil that's been used over and over and over again, without being changed, you know what I mean.

Since the calamari didn't really fill us up, we tried some of the bread served with pats of butter. It was ok, but rather stale. It didn't help stave off our hunger.

When our main course finally arrived (we arrived at 7:30 sharp and didn't eat until about 8:30 - a pretty long wait, considering we didn't order anything difficult), it looked great. Very nice presentation. Then we tasted it.

I had the Fettuccini con Gamberoni, described as " Prawns over fettuccini in our cream sauce or creamy pesto sauce." I had selected the cream sauce. It was more like water with a bit of cream. I couldn't believe the consistency of their sauce. It was so watery, it actually splashed a little as I twirled the fettuccini noodles on my fork! If it had been tasty, I would've forgiven them the consistency. But it was bland, bland, bland. I don't even really know how to describe it since it didn't seem to have much flavor at all. I tried adding pepper, but it didn't help much. As for the prawns, there were 6 of them (very sad, considering the dish cost $18.95!) and they weren't even butterflied and de-veinedI don't know about you, but I don't really like to eat the shrimp's (ahem) waste. Gross.

My husband's dish wasn't much better. He ordered the Lasagna Alia Vesuviana, described as "Fresh layers of pasta prepared with meatballs, ricotta, mozzarella, and Bolognese meat sauce." Although it wasn't bad, it didn't really have much flavor either. We couldn't tell where the meatballs were, and the few pieces of meat or sausage that were in there didn't seem to have much spice. The one good thing I feel compelled to add is: my husband took the remainder of his lasagne home (he didn't want to keep eating it, but we always feel guilty throwing food away). He warmed it up for lunch the next day and said it seemed much better. Maybe it was one of those sauces that needs to sit for a day.

My husband had ordered the restaurant's $23, 4-course dinner special, which the website says includes" one of our delicious desserts and coffee or tea." After we saw what the dessert really was -- individually wrapped biscotti -- he passed.

Oh - I almost forgot the house wine. It was drinkable, but in my humble opinion, 2-buck Chuck is better. We spotted one of those glass jugs (you know the type - with that loop handle near the mouth of the jug) in the kitchen, so we suspect that's what the house wine was from. For $6.75 and $6.50 per glass, we should've stuck with beer.

The only thing that prevents me from giving this restaurant a worse review is that the server was very nice. He was very friendly and charming. Even though he asked how our meal was and didn't stick around to hear the answer, he was nice. Even though someone accidentally stuck another table's $20 pizza charge on our bill, the server was very apologetic and fixed the mistake quickly. Give that man a raise, or at least some help so he has time to actually listen for a response to his question.

All-in-all, we won't be going back here. We had hoped for a better experience since we like to support family-run businesses. Given this restaurant's location (on busy Irving street surrounded by some great eateries), in my humble opinion, they need to do better.

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

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