Villasso (formerly known as the Set Up until it was renovated) is a joint that you need to know is there–I can’t imagine too many people stumbling upon it by accident. As its name descriptor “Rojiura” (literally “back alley”) states, it is literally on the back side of Saigon (which I reviewed back in 2015 here). To be honest, Villasso both impressed me and let me down hard. Let me tell you why.
I really wanted to love it. The atmosphere is nice. The chairs are nice and comfortable, and the color scheme is pleasant. It’s fashionable, yet chill. Let me reiterate: it really is nice. It makes me want to order a tea or coffee and chill out with a book.
But you can’t, and that’s what disappoints me. It’s an izakaya (pub), no budging. You need to order a beer or cocktail. And/or food. Here’s where I get more disappointed.
A la most izakayas (and why I tend to avoid them), the food is expensive and sub-par. You get a meaty otooshi for the “cover charge,” which is fine, but a la otooshi, overpriced. I ordered a Cesar salad, which was at least decent in both size and taste. I also ordered some clams and “pizza”–the former was tiny yet pricey and just eh, and the latter was kind of good, but definitely not pizza (just a crispy flatbread with garlic butter and cheese). I don’t know, I’m just not impressed.
Even there there was only about one other customer in the entire restaurant, they sat me at a corner table chair in the back, not some of the comfy chairs near the nice open window. Okay.
If you’re looking for a place to grab a drink with a friend and chill (or maybe as a nijikai after-party), this is your place. But otherwise, it’s really nothing to write about. If only they could use it as a cafe during the daytime. But that’s just my 2 cents.
Rojiura Dining Villasso
Open 6:00 pm – 2:00 (3:00 am on Fri., Sat., and holidays)