Monello
Monello

Monello

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.lovemonello.com/
  • Phone: 6195010030x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch

    Tuesday - Sunday: 11:00am - 2:30pm

    Dinner

    Tuesday - Thursday: 2:30pm - closing; Friday & Saturday: 3:00pm - closing; Sunday: 5:00pm -closing
    APERITIVO-ITALIAN HAPPY HOUR (complimentary bites with drinks) 4 pm to 7 pm all week
    Brunch

    Saturday & Sunday: 10:00am - 3:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian, Comfort Food, Pizzeria
  • Executive Chef: Fabrizio Cavallini
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Kettner
  • Public Transit: MTS Transit Trolley Stop Green Line: County Center/Little Italy
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: The Little Italy Association offers valet parking Tuesday through Sunday at the corner of India St. and Fir St. (in front of Influx) for $8.00 beginning at 5:30pm.

    Limited street parking is available. Metered parking is free after 6:00pm until 6:00am Monday through Saturday and all day Sunday.
A word from Monello
Bencotto's younger brother is born and who knew Italians could be so naughty? Monello-literally "little devil"-is a term of endearment used for little boys when they're misbehaving. We're intrigued by their naughty nature and positively entertained by it. Monello's offerings embody our Northern Italian heritage with unleashed passion, unafraid and unapologetic with its own playful twists on the most beloved, street-inspired fare of our hometown Milano.
UNABLE TO FIND A TABLE? CHECK OUT OUR BROTHER RESTAURANT BENCOTTO NEXT DOOR - SAME CHEF!
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
Monello reviews from OpenTable diners
94 reviews since June 24, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.3
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
94% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (60)neighborhood gem (56)hot spot (36)special occasion (35)good for groups (29)great for brunch (24)great for outdoor dining (24)great for lunch (21)romantic (20)vibrant bar scene (17)late-night find (13)scenic view (10)notable wine list (10)kid-friendly (7)Show More
  • So tired of loud restaurants
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    I asked for the quietest table so the four of us could have a conversation over a meal. They gave us their quietest, and it did not matter. Still way too loud to try to converse in a small table of four. It just ruins the evening when you cannot hear your tablemates speaking. The stress and strain of leaning in and trying to hear outweighs the food or service. Sorry. Are there any quiet restaurants any more? So over this loud trend. They say people tend to buy more drinks in a loud place. We did not and did not stay for dessert because it was so uncomfortable. We would have if it was a little more peaceful and relaxing. They lost more business here.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing food OK service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Absolutely everything at Monello is delicious my only negative feedback is that the service felt very rushed and really took away from the experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Monello was disappointing
    Nigel6
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    The service was off. We were seated outside and found it difficult to get our server's attention. We even had to resort to calling the restaurant to request that the server check on us. With respect to the food, the pasta dish was excellent. However, I order grilled octopus and found it to be soggy. My husband ordered a branzino. The fish was roasted properly, but the seasoning was bland. I don't like overly complicated dishes, but the preparation of this fish seemed to be very basic (olive oil). The restaurant is attractive and trendy. It is a safe bet for drinks and pasta dishes. Non-pasta dishes are more risky. The wait staff was competent but stretched too thin.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Could have been better...
    BiondaVIP
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    This was my second time to Monello, and boy, I never remembered it being so LOUD! We had to yell to hear our party of 4, which was really tiresome. The waitress had zero knowledge of Italian cuisine, which made asking her questions about the menu a moot point. The spaghetti carbonara was excellent, but when we asked a server to have the kitchen recut our pizza, he told us "that's how they do it in Italy" and walked away. My previous experience here was excellent, so maybe the new staff just needs better training on customer service and cuisine? Not really willing to give it another try, though. Too many other great Italian spots in town...
    Special Features:
    hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Authentic Italian
    MikeD
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    Not a Vermouth connoisseur, but they make their own and bring you authentic Italian small bites through out the experience. It's a great place to try a few things. I had the Spinack lasagna, great meat sauce. My girlfriend gets the Aglio spaghetti each time and their cheese and meat plate is full if unique Italian kinds. The raspa dura cheese is phenomenal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Another delicious meal!
    CeehVIP
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    Enjoyed our Sunday brunch! All dishes were fantastic! The size of the Monello Eggs Benedict was really small, but my friend's breakfast pizza was huge, so I nibbled off hers! Drink service was very slow, but I'd certainly recommend the bloody Mary they whip up!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • DebbieVIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    The service and food were outstanding. Our server, Megan was attentive and let us enjoy our evening. The Assistant Manager, Hamilton has an excellent eye for detail and always welcomes us graciously. Valentina treats every guest like family. All of the wonderful components create an exceptional evening!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Underwhelmed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    I really wanted to like Monello. I had tried a friends left over pizza and thought it was pretty tasty, so I took my wife for dinner. It's a cool setting and ambiance was good. Service was fine as well, but after spending $140 on dinner ($35 on wine), we would not be in any hurry to return. I really wanted to like it, but it under delivered.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great choice for restaurant week!
    sf2sdbound
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    Decided to come here for restaurant week, since I wanted Italian. The food was delicious, really recommend their vegetable puree soup, was really tasty and you could taste the vegetables and it was such an experience in your mouth. My boyfriend got the lasagna and I the spaghetti with clams, and both were super good. We ordered for the 5 of us, a meat and cheese platter and it was big, enough for all of us and the choices of cheeses were really good, despite that I am not a big fan of cheese. Also, their Monello dip is superb, now only if they were to put in a jar and sell it. Overall really recommend this place and people should come here more often and not just for restaurant week, any day of the week.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Night Time Nosh
    noshability
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    Busy all day at a conference, came back to neighborhood hotel to nap, and found Monello online.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • delicious!!
    Luv2dine
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    great food and great service! atmosphere was casual, yet still maintained an upscale ambiance.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice and Fancy place
    surprisednhappy
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Thought it would be more quiet. Went there for our weeding anniversary, but not as romantic as what i had in mind for the occasion. Service was good, music was good.
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing service & food!
    margiemurphyVIP
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    We had to change our reservation for a group of 10 girls multiple times due to flight delays and the staff was extremely accomodating and so friendly. We had a great time, thoroughly enjoyed the food. We ordered family style and loved every dish. We also loved the ambiance. Everyone was impressed - thank you Monello!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Monello is outstanding!
    indocynVIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    I've always had a wonderful meal here. The fresh made pasta is so delicious! I also recommend the raspa dura cheese as an appetizer and to use on your pasta entree. Excellent!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Service supreme
    littleitalydiner
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    Hamilton runs a very good restaurant. Service was excellent and Hamilton, the manager, made a trip to our table to check on our satisfaction with both food and service. The pizza is the best and the branzino, light and flavorful. Lovely sitting out on the patio on a glorious San Diego evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OurFaveItalian...que bene
    OurFaveItalian
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    We have to drive 40 minutes to get to get to Monello, but we're happy to do it because it's so good. If you're a spaghetti carbonara fan, look no further. Their house-made red vermouth is truly remarkable. The house-made chocolate gelato is the best outside of Verona. And the staff couldn't be nicer and more attentive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ear splitting noise
    sashaBVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Yes, it was so loud walking in the door that we almost walked right out. But we did stay. The food was well prepared and tasty and the service pleasant and efficient. It's possible we'd go there again on a week night, but if the noise is just as loud, we'll turn right around. The restaurant trend these days is loud and vibrant - leading to more drinks being bought and more money for the restaurant. When one can't hear across the table, it doesn't matter how good the food is.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food!
    Cyrious
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    My husband and I decided to go here for our 22nd anniversary. When we arrived early the staff was more than accommodating. They found us a nice quiet table toward the back of the restaurant. A large group was seated behind us and they were young and very loud! The whole place was very lively on a Saturday night. Despite all that our waiter was at our service all night. We couldn't have asked for a better server. We both ordered from the specials. Hubby got seafood lasagna which was so creamy, cheesy and delicious! Best seafood lasagna ever! I had red snapper in a zesty citrus and fruity glaze...spectacular! I didn't want potatoes so the waiter put in a special order of veggies for me at no extra cost, fantastic!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • great brunch spot!
    betheats
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    so many delectable things to choose from! took my mother there for her birthday and she can't stop raving about it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great as Always
    BrianVIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Still one of my favorite places in San Diego! Consistently great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • BelleFerrariVIP
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    meal was excellent. The fresh pasta was thoroughly enjoyed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • you won't be disappointed
    marpoz
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Even though Monello's big brother restaurant Ben Cotto gets all the hype, don't miss a chance to try Monello. It's slightly more casual but the quality of the food is just as worthy of praise. The energetic atmosphere makes even the most casual diners feel at ease.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Another wonderful meal!
    CeehVIP
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Took my parents here and they adored this restaurant! Every item on the menu is delicious, but we're found that the specials are not to be missed! Can't wait to visit again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, scenic view, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • interesting
    richbham
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Nice selection of beers and wines, the cocktails looked like they would be great too. Homemade vermouth they let us sample.
    Special Features:
    romantic, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing place!
    JayelmVIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Thank you, Monello, for making another memorable evening. The food (seafood cannelloni) and the service (Megan and Lance) we're phenomenal. This is a premiere restaurant destination in Little Italy lost definately, but it deserves a place in the premiere eateries in Sand Diego!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bdinesout
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    The service is very attentive and welcoming, but not intrusive. The food is really well flavored and the presentation is beautiful. Hamilton was our waiter and he couldn't have been more professional and yes friendly. We love this place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious!
    EnJoyVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    From to start to finish our meal transformed us back to Italia! We're still dreaming of the grilled octopus starter, the perfectly fired pizza with raspa and spinach, and Monello's 'cacio y pepe' is the best we've had here in the States!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Awesome
    JerryVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Unique menu with excellent food! Will come back again and again as we have already!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mouthwatering!
    vptwins
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    This gem in Little Italy was quite a find! We made a reservation for our party of 10 and finished sight-seeing an hour early. We expected to be told that we would have to wait, but the friendly staff said that it was no problem and we were seated in less than 5 min.the waiter made excellent recommendations and we all enjoyed the food immensely. The wood fired pizza reminded of the pies in Sorrento and Naples...thin, fresh, and delicious. The lasagna special had a fantastic meat sause and soonach layer and I would highly recommend starting with the mini calzones. You can't go wrong with anything on the menu!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • YUM!
    teenVIP
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    so good, so creative, so satisfying! a treat at every meal!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food and ambient.
    Lillocode
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Quality and authentic Italian food. One of the best Restaurant in Little Italy.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of my local fav's
    denisesd
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    We went here Saturday for brunch. Celebrating my son's birthday. Never disappointed! Food and service amazing.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect Little Italy Experience
    CeehVIP
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    This was our first visit, and I think we will be regulars from here on out! Service was excellent and food was extraordinary! Loved the seafood lasagna! Fresh mozzarella was delicious, and our dessert (tiramisu) equally fantastic. Can't wait to return to try another round of dishes!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • good food, nice people
    jr2231
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Only downside to going to this restaurant is finding parking in downtown san diego. The food was great, staff awesome. Can be noisy because of the area but fun people watching through the glass.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Shelley
    Shelsxl
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    The food is always excellent! The service is awesome and everyone is very friendly.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 59 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 24, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.3
    • Food4.2
    • Ambiance4.2
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 136 reviews are from the Monello reviews archive.
  • Great food!
    drummerboy
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    Try the seafood lasagna or the seafood pizza - they are super yummy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious
    sunnySDdiner07VIP
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    Monello is fabulous! From the fresh fish, homemade pasta, delicious sauces and wonderful service! I completely recommend this restaurant. Great food, great time!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just OK
    MarkVIP
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    Pizza great but "homemade pasta dishes were uninspired. Pasta was rubbery on both pasta entrees. Nice waitress.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Must
    CitizenRob
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Gotta go for weekend brunch, the Bomboloni and Cornetti are even better than we had in Italy. Can't wait to go back for happy hour and try their house made vermouth.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • TropicaleVIP
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    It took our server over 20 minutes to appear at our table, but bus staff was very attentive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic