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Reserve at Monello
750 W. Fir St.
San Diego, CA 92101
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$30 and under
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Hours of Operation:
Tuesday - Sunday: 11:00am - 2:30pm
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
Saturday & Sunday: 10:00am - 3:00pm
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Italian, Pizzeria, Comfort Food
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
MTS Transit Trolley Stop Green Line: County Center/Little Italy
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!
See all photos >
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
Diners' Choice Winner
Best Restaurants in Little Italy (San Diego)
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!"
Dined on 7/22/2014
so good, so creative, so
satisfying! a treat at every meal!"
Dined on 7/18/2014
Quality and authentic Italian
food. One of the best Restaurant in Little Italy."
Dined on 7/17/2014
We went here Saturday for brunch.
Celebrating my son's birthday. Never disappointed! Food and service amazing."
Dined on 7/13/2014
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!"
Dined on 7/11/2014
The food is always excellent! The
service is awesome and everyone is very friendly."
Dined on 6/27/2014
Try the seafood lasagna or the
seafood pizza - they are super yummy."
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!"
Dined on 6/21/2014
Pizza great but "homemade pasta
dishes were uninspired. Pasta was rubbery on both pasta entrees. Nice waitress."
Dined on 6/15/2014
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."
Dined on 6/14/2014
It took our server over 20 minutes
to appear at our table, but bus staff was very attentive."
Dined on 6/7/2014
This was our first time at
Monello's and it was packed. Great vibe and the service and food were very good. Paul was our server and on the spot with everything we needed, and more. Great time and we can't wait to return to try more of their food........Lively and a lot of energy there with a great bar..."
Dined on 6/6/2014
This place is really doing things
right! Very innovative menu items. My seafood lasagna was flavored with saffron and just plain delicious. Everyone at our table was most impressed with their entrees. We received a complementary taste of their homemade sweet vermouth and a take home biscotti. The service was top notch"
Dined on 5/30/2014
The pasta dishes were excellent.
The carbonara was perhaps the best I've had and I've had it a lot, in fact, I make a pretty good one. The mushroom pizza also very good. "
Dined on 5/29/2014
As always, outperformed the
previous visit; beyond the expected and fantastic service!"
Dined on 5/25/2014
Jen, our server was awesome. She
did everything right & the place had wonderful food. True Italian:-)"
Dined on 5/18/2014
Loved everything about this
restaurant! Made a reservation for a busy Saturday night, and were immediately seated when we arrived. Sat down and our waitress treated us to a complimentary taste of the house-made sweet Vermouth over ice (which is delicious). Split a bunch of appetizers - burrata, calamari, zucchini (highly recommend). Also tried the Monello pizza and the aglio, olio, pepperoncino spaghetti. Although the latter was not authentically prepared, it was actually better than I've had in Italy (and spicier). Waitstaff is highly attentive and friendly. Will definitely be back!"
Dined on 5/17/2014
Excellent food! Just like the
food we got in Ialty! Excellent service, everyone is so helpful and friendly! If we lived closer, we would definitely eat here more often!"
Dined on 5/16/2014
We are regulars at Monello and
every time we dine here we find something new to love. The specials rotate on a weekly basis offering new amazing options faster than I'm able to try them. I've never had anything I didn't love at this restaurant. It genuinely feels like a European cafe. The chef is great, the ambiance is fun and the wait staff is knowledgeable. "
Dined on 5/14/2014
The only thing that I might want
to correct is really very minor, but when I had a Mother's Day's brunch my credit card was placed in a glass container rather than a typical check folder, bottom line my credit card got left behind and I could not pick it up on Monday as you were closed. It is not that it erased all the good food, good service and great atmosphere it is just that I feel that it could have been easily avoided."
Dined on 5/11/2014
Monello calls to you; It says,
come and eat on my patio, or in my dining room. I find the restaurant friendly and charming. I have eaten here numerous times and each time has been an event. I usually dine alone, as I'm traveling for business, and I've found that the staff is eager to carry on a conversation during their many visits to the table during dinner. The food is unusual in content and in it's quality. I've had octopus and a number of their vegetarian dishes. I've also sampled their pizza: a winner, IMHO. Please look at the more unusual items on the menu. The Neri pasta dish is excellent. It pairs lobster bisque and octopus with a squid ink spaghetti. It was beyond good. Try it. "
Dined on 5/8/2014
Monello has been a go-to spot for
apertivo time here in SD, introducing their Italian (Milan) take on it here in the states. With every drink for purchase, you receive little enjoyable tastes straight from the kitchen. The service has always been up to par, just the seasoning sometimes is a little off, but the food has been 7 times out of 10 really good. I'll still keep coming here, because the view, drinks, service is great and hoping for the food to meet their potential! "
Dined on 5/7/2014
Good food, good recommendations
and specials. Service was excellent, attentive. Good home-made vermouth!"
Dined on 4/26/2014
The prosciutto appetizer was
sliced very thick. This may be a style choice, but it was not good - too tough for this cut. The gnocchi "ragu" was very strong and greasy and left a terrible after taste. I liked the carbonara, but later was killed by the presence of garlic that should not have been in the dish at all."
Dined on 4/24/2014
Been 3 times all amazing going
back again this Sunday... "
Dined on 4/20/2014
Went for the Easter Italian
Brunch. Very nice egg and polenta dish and ricotta pancakes. Music should be Italian. Service excellent. Would go back and recommend. "
Dined on 4/20/2014
We really enjoyed our evening at
Monello. The food and drinks were fabulous and we were well taken care of. The drinks were the highlight, Daniel the bartender made me a drink called the Paper Plane which I LOVED. We really enjoyed the burrata dish and I loved my seafood pasta. So many delicious treats mixed together with pasta. I'm sorry we weren't able to enjoy the leftovers the next day, they didn't survive the car ride."
Dined on 4/19/2014
Good food, great service, but TOO
many kids dining at around 8:30 pm on a saturday. Once the groups with kids left the noise level went down (by a lot!). We ordered the bencotto pizza with sausage (very good choice). My favorite was the caesar salad- amazing presentation. "
Dined on 4/19/2014
Benocotto does it again!
Everything we ate was spectacular. Pizza crust made me fel like I was in Italy. Vermouth drinks are to die for. Definitely put this at the top of your list in Little Italy!"
Dined on 4/19/2014
If you're looking for the "real"
Italian cuisine experience, check out Monello! I've always had great food there! My favorite cheese on their menu is "raspa" that they shave thin and serve in a paper cone for everyone at the table to try. You can easily share dishes (like awesome pizza!) on the menu and you're encouraged to do so! "
Dined on 4/15/2014
This is not the restaurant for a
weekend night. It was so loud we could not hear ourselves talk sitting across the table. The interior is solid concrete or glass so there was nothing to absorb the noise. The service was a mishmash. We started with one waiter who said he would be right back. Eventually one of us had to get up and speak with the hostess/manager; she took our order. The waiter returned surprised. The entrees did not come out at the same time. We waited for the last entrée to arrive (brought by someone completely different) and had to return the other entrée for a reheat. For this experience we paid over $160 for two. Don't know when others who rated this so highly might have dined; weekend nights is not the time."
Dined on 4/12/2014
My wife, mom and I went to Monello
on Saturday. First if you are wanting what the norm is in local Italian dining this is not the place for you. What they serve here is something very fresh and appears to be less American influenced. We had an appetizer that consisted of fresh made mozzarella,hot bread, arrugala, tomatoes and spices. It was good but of all the items I think it was overpriced. For dinner we each ordered an item and asked for plates to share. We ordered the Monello pizza (not like any pizza Ive had), The special Lasagna made with spinach crepe's for the layers. The highlight was the carbonara gnocchi. OMG this dish was amazing and if you look at the refrigerator case you know why (its in the hallway). This place we will keep."
Dined on 4/12/2014
This was a great restaurant. The
food was just as good. The restaurant was very noisy though. I could hardly understand my waitress. Too loud."
Dined on 4/11/2014
First time here last night and it
was delicious! We ordered the lobster bisque, focaccia bread, burrata rolled bites, pork entree and spaghetti with ragu. All of the food was yummy! It was so good! Tasted fresh and authentic, and the pasta was al dente. Perfect! Our server, Paul was great. He really knew about the restaurant and the food. We came in a little before closing and we never felt rushed. I can't wait to go back."
Dined on 4/6/2014
they will continue to have great
success because they try to please in every way possible: FOOD, COMFORT, SERVICE!"
Dined on 4/5/2014
I live nearby so I go there pretty
regularly--at least 1-2 times/month. I'd been at the Porto Vista Hotel for happy hour until almost 9 pm and I didn't think I would need a reservation...I really made it just for the points, but couldn't make one for earlier than 9:30. We walked in at 9 and things were busy...but one of the servers recognized me as a regular so she made sure they cleaned up a recently vacated table very quickly for us, so we didn't wait for even 3 minutes. The manager started us all with complimentary cordial glasses of their house-made vermouth. I'd actually never had it on its own before, but it was amazing! My friends, all first timers there, let me order family style for the table and everything was delicious!"
Dined on 4/4/2014
I would return and recommend this
place if the service improved. I'm not sure if it was just the server or the kitchen and the server that caused the issue. We ordered appetizers for the table: salumi platter and a couple orders of the scallop appetizers from the specials menu (by the way, the scallops were not special at all). Oddly, the pasta dishes were brought out first and the server said we could have them now or he could "hold" them in the back until after we received our appetizers! No. We are not interested in having the pasta dishes before the appetizers and we are not interested in having the pasta dishes (carbonara) sit in the back while we enjoy the appetizers. They fired fresh pasta dishes and they were good."
Dined on 4/2/2014
Can't believe how long it took me
to try Monello considering that I live only a block away. I went for brunch with a friend and we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. The ambiance is trendy and upbeat with quality down-tempo electronic. They have a proper mix of modern/traditional Italian. Although portions are on the smaller side, the dishes are made with a fine attention to detail with all quality ingredients. Very fresh flavors, thick prosciutto, tasty bacon, delectable pesto hollandaise, and a Bloody Mary that hit the spot were all a part of our brunch experience."
Dined on 3/30/2014
slight changes would make all the
difference. Example - you can't compete with Mario Batali's fried cauliflower with a heavy coated knock off. If you're going to do it, do it light. The quality of the entire restaurant demands higher standards in the plate. drop the roll ups. a soggy, dense tortilla type of bread ruins the VERY flavorful inside stuff. the roll itself is unnecessary and seems like nothing more but a filler. Flavorful good pizza would be FANTASTIC if the process of creating the pizza dough resulted in an even crust thickness. The very thin center takes the punch right out of your first bite, usually the BEST bite of a slice yes? would love to go again and see the execution of these great dishes be improved upon."
Dined on 3/26/2014
Sat eve so one expects crowds. It
was crowded and extraordinarily noisy. The food was good, if not exceptional; same thing with the drinks and desert. Total price was probably 30 percent higher than it should be."
Dined on 3/22/2014
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Private dining at Monello is the Milanese quintessential dining experience. Fresh handmade pasta & homemade vermouth are
just a few of most authentic offers that makes Monello stand out. The decor with wood, cement, glass & granite is inspired by a traditional Milanese eatery.
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