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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

La Villa Restaurant [Meeting #59]

La Villa Restaurant and Banquets
3632 N. Pulaski Map
(773) 283-7980

The Chicago Pizza Club invaded La Villa on 6/11/08.

It's not often that we venture West of Damen Ave., but the Pizza Club is a fearless bunch and we had no problems trekking out near Addison and Pulaski. I have to say, after reading the rave reviews on Yelp.com that I had high expectations for this place. But I guess this just goes to highlight the difference between Yelp and the Chicago Pizza Club.

Thanks to the ever punctual CTA bus service I showed up about 20 minutes late to the meeting to find that our order had already been placed and that we had several appetizing bread options at our table. I opted for some pizza bread which was really quite good, maybe the best thing I had all night? We had eight members attending the meeting and ordered a 14" pan pizza vegetarian special, a 14" stuffed pizza with pepperoni and mushroom, and a 16" shrimp and garlic thin crust pizza. Our order was placed at 7:45 and I don't think it took more than 30 minutes for our food to come, but maybe it should have...

The best of the bunch was the thin crust with garlic and shrimp... but yeah, that's not saying much. The garlic was overpowering and the shrimp was not very high quality, obviously we don't expect fresh shrimp yanked right from the ocean here in Chicago on our pizza, but you hope for something better than this. The crust was bland and the sauce didn't bring a whole lot to the table either. The pan vegetarian pizza was described by one of our Pizza Club members as as a salad with dough and cheese, and I don't think I can argue with that. The excess of vegetables made the whole pizza much too soggy. And the pepperoni and mushroom stuffed pizza? Well, the best comment I heard about this pizza was that at least the mushrooms weren't canned. I'm sure this pizza did have pepperoni on it, but I can't remember tasting any... I was probably too distracted by the half-cooked crust and the bad sauce. Also, kind of disappointing was the fact that there was no difference in crust between the pan and stuffed pizzas.

It's kinda rare that there is leftover pizza at a Chicago Pizza Club meeting, but tonight there was plenty, and it was even thrown up for debate whether if even Fred would want the leftovers. I'm honestly suprised that there were so many positive reviews of this place on Yelp.com. While it's hard to call any Chicago Pizza Club meeting a failure (dinner out with good friends is always cause for a smile) this meeting was definitely a let down. Not the worst pizza the CPC has ever had, but I don't think any of us will find a reason to head back to La Villa.

Petey Pizza Gives My Pie a 3.1/10.

The Pizza Bread!

An unsuspecting Chicago Pizza Club...

The Stuffed Pepperoni & Mushroom Pizza...

Thin Crust with Shrimp & Garlic...

The Vegetarian Pan Pizza...

Where it went down...

Italian Villa Pizzeria on Urbanspoon


  1. I think I agree 100% with the reviwer for this restaurant, he sounds wise and handsome. I give this place a 3.5/10... and with that I shall never think of La Villa again, I've already wasted too much time and thought on this bad pizza...

  2. Meh. Pretty disappointing. I was excited to see shrimp on the ingredients list, but let down when I tried it. The pan pizza was distinguishable from the stuffed pizza only by the thinnest little layer of uncooked dough on top of the ingredients and under the sauce. Sauce was canned, crust was bland, cheese got tough as it cooled. The photo of the veggie slices shows the water pooling on the side of the plate even as it was just served ... a common problem with this many vegetables piled on, so I should really learn my lesson and quit ordering it, but it always sounds good. All in all, if I had just walked in and ordered some thin crust pizza w/o shrimp, I probably would have stopped at "meh" and given a so-so rating, but the stuffed and pan pizzas we ordered really highlighted the shortcomings of La Villa. I wouldn't eat pizza there again. 3.5.

  3. but oh yeah, i did enjoy that pizza bread served before dinner. just a thin layer of sauce so its own foibles aren't an issue, and the bread itself was nicely flavored with olive oil.

  4. I found this place and accept the blame. Numerous people on Yelp declared La Villa to be the best in Chicago. I truly have no idea how anyone can think that; this was bad pizza.

    The sauce tasted like it came out of a can. That's probably because it did come out of a can. The vegetables were too much and not very good. The crusts on the stuffed and pan pizzas were oddly identical and they were too thick.
    The cheese was flavorless.

    We usually gorge at Pizza Club and nobody did that tonight. They brought us five boxes to take our leftovers home and I'm the only one who took one and that was for my dog.

    I will never eat pizza at La Villa again. Chances are I will never eat anything there again. The meat eaters special from Pizza Hut was better than any of the three pies we had tonight. I give La Villa a 2.2.

  5. How did the leftovers sit with Fred?

  6. I'm with the rest of my crew here. This was poor pizza all around. The sauce was boring, the crust was too thick and bland, the ingredients were unremarkable.

    I would never go back here again and I'm surprised that other food reviews sites seem to think there is anything of merit here. The people at Yelp must be either half-retarded or have had glossectomies. Advising someone to check this place out is akin to robbing them of $15. Assholes.


  7. This is a prime example why Chicago Pizza Club stands above other pizza reviewing sites. I wonder if it was the low-grade cheese or the blocky crust that warranted the Yelpers high rating? While I admit I sometimes like plasticy cheese, this was a boring, lead-heavy pizza. The shrimp pizza had a suspiciously shrimpy odor. The Tabasco bottle didn't even work properly!

    La Villa reminded me of stale mid-20th century-style suburban restaurant-bar, now in the 1990s, where you and your dreams can slowly waste away with the vinyl seating.


  8. When I got home last night, I gave Fred a slice of the shrimp and garlic pizza. He ate it right away.

    At 5:15 this morning, I was awakened by him dry heaving, which is usually a precursor to vomiting. Fortunately, he did not throw up. I don't know for certain that it was the pizza but that was the last thing he ate last night. I will not be giving him the other piece.

    Like the rest of the CPC, Fred will not be returning to La Villa.

  9. If you like uncooked dough and cheese which tastes like rubber then WELCOME TO La VILLA.
    This place was an all time stink bomb. The shrimp on the thin crust stank up the whole room. The veggie pizza had a garden on it and the pepperoni was non distinct at best. I give this place a 3/10.

  10. Just wanted to chime in, not necessarily add much since I agree with what everyone said.

    Aside from the shrimp, which Kate mentioned, they also hi-lighted alfredo pizza on the menu. We discussed it beforehand and decided not to order it, since it just didn't sound appetizing. There was still discussion after we ordered, to the point where we were set to order a small just to try it. However, after we all tasted a slice of their other pizzas, the dissension was unanimous and we decided to save our money. That was, to me, indicative of our experience.

    Also, I kept thinking this morning about how I was advised not to fill up on bread. That was horrible advice. The pizza bread and the plain bread rolls were actually really good.

    I'll give La Villa a 3.5

  11. Oh my, I think this was Fred's first negative review!

  12. I do agree that la villa pizza is not top notch.I've had their sausage before and the cheese just does not taste like cheese at all.I guess that any pizza there that is made does not have flavor at all.They put too much cheese when toppings are on it.the cheese blended with any topping at all is very bland and no flavor.I think that they keep the toppings in the fridge too high that the toppings are too cold or when they cook it in the oven the oven is not set to cook pizza's.The ingredients of the pizza's are not flavorfull.The cheese not tasty,the toppings not tasty,nothing is .

  13. As far as Chicago Deep dish, this place is our personal favorite. Its crust is thick, its cheese is rubbery, and the sauce is thick with tomatoes. greasy, flavorful and sloppy. What more can you want? Oh and we lived within walking distance from this place, so we ate it for two winters straight. But who's to judge? If you go, stick with the stuffed cheese.