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  • Monello

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Monello Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.lovemonello.com/
  • Email: info@lovemonello.com
  • Phone: (619) 501-0030
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch

    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
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian, Pizzeria, Comfort Food
  • 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.
Foodspotting photos
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Diner Reviews
  • "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
  • "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
  • "This was my first time to Monello. I have been to the sister restaurant Bencotto and it was wonderful. The food is wonderful - had the homemade mozzarella, along with the piatto sano (beet salad) as appetizers - both were delicious. Salad was perfectly dressed and the olive oil for the mozzarella really made it sing! For entrees - house made spaghetti with ragu which was rich and flavorful and the margherita pizza - the crust was so thin, crispy, light yet flavorful - perfect ration of mozzarella, tomato & basil. Service was very good - knowledgeable, kind and attentive. Atmosphere is fun and lively. Definitely going back and recommend this restaurant to anyone!"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "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
  • "The service and food has been consistently wonderful. Whether we are grabbing a quick drink and appetizer at the bar or having a special dinner, Monello does not disappoint!"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "This is not the first time I've been to Monello's. Everything was great. The food, outstanding. The service, outstanding. The noise level, not so great Yes I will be going back for both lunch and dinner."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Overall, I thought it was a little pricey for an atmosphere that was so casual and kid friendly. I don't think the menu prices match the experience."
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "Of the six. i was alone in having eaten here before. Everyone loved the food and our server, Heidi was great. She was informed about our special diets - gluten, free and vegetarian. If you have not been, make a reservation now""
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "Way too noisy! Could barely converse with our friends. Parking also nightmare. Would not drive downtown again for dinner."
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "My friends from Canada were in town and wanted to have a REAL GOOD ITALIAN dinner. Where to go? As a former County employee and worked at the County Administration Center on Pacific Highway for many years and was familiar with the restaurants in Little Italy, and although many are good, I wanted to treat my friends to a dinner that they would remember once they were back in the 30-below weather in Alberta...From the moment Paul came up to the table we had a wonderful experience. He surprised us with a delicious infused vermouth (who knew?) and was a joy bringing us little tidbits about Monello and giving us a "tour" of the cheese fridge...LOVED MONELLO and felt the love in the service and the food. I will be referring everyone I know there."
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "Took a friend there for his birthday on Sunday. The place was empty and the staff took a "turn 'em and burn 'em" approach to our service. True, we just order pizza, salads, and apps, but they had us out the door within 45 minutes. The pizza was good, not excellent. The $6 salad had four pieces of lettuces and 3 tomato slices on it. The portobello mushroom slices were good, probably the best thing we had. Drinks were absolutely awful. All 3 of us sent them back. Rather than ask us if we wanted something different, server just whisked them away and had them remade, which upgraded them from awful to okay. $100 and 45 minutes later, I felt my money would have been better spent at Newport Pizza for a whole pie and some pitchers."
    Dined on 3/2/2014
  • "My husband and I have eaten at this lovely restaurant many times and always enjoy the experience."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "From inception, our experience was superb! Valentina listened carefully to our needs and proceeded to eliminate stress, accommodating our every request. We began with cocktail hour, sampling the inventive homemade Vermouth cocktails. We then moved to our individual tables for a multi-course family-style dinner with a menu showcasing the Milanese fare. We enjoyed sampling the numerous delicious menu items. Special menus for dietary needs were also served. But what really stood out was the impeccable service. The staff was attentive and congenial, even offering places to visit while in town. Many of us praised the intimate atmosphere provided. I HIGHLY recommend Monello for any event! I hope to return soon to enjoy their regular menu!"
    Dined on 2/4/2014
  • "Monello serves up some delicious food.. from Italian street style dishes to authentic pastas. Wonderful! Also, they take pride in handcrafted cocktails and make a delicious sweet vermouth."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "My wife and I, her son and his wife, were the foursome at Monello this past weekend. We were seated promptly, waited a bit to get wine, but everything else went smoothly. The highlights (and I find this more and more at various restaurants) were the appetizers. There were several wraps in flatbread ("rolled bites", ours was burrata cheese, arugula, and prosciutto) that were excellent. The pizza margherita (with mushrooms) was very good (for California), but I would have sauteed the mushrooms in butter, and added them prior to baking, as opposed to putting raw mushrooms on the pizza after it was removed from the oven. Overall, a nice experience."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "we live in the neighborhood and always enjoy ourselves... brought in friends from out of the area and they felt the same... will continute to return."
    Dined on 2/16/2014
  • "This place is very happening. It was crowded and vibrant at 7:30 on a Sat. nite. The menu had a bunch of nice cheese and salami appetizers and some other fried fare. The server was a very nice young man who was seemingly overburdened, as he had two assistants serving drinks waters for him. I asked for a refill beverage, but it was never delivered. When we finished our appetizers, the waiter asked if we wanted to order something else. We said we were still deciding. Ten minutes later, he had not returned, so we got dessert elsewhere. This gets a rating of good, but not more unless the service improves. There are too many places in Little Italy to visit on a Saturday night."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Our fifth or sixth visit here. Always tasty, always great service."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "The restaurant was a favorite and deserves high marks. My experience was not what I have come to expect of this establishment due to a lapse in judgment by the management. The restaurant failed to honor a printed promotional placed on each table and was unwilling to over any alternative. My party enjoyed their experience and I limited my individual purchases to a drink. I would have preferred to spend the additional $80 on some of my favorites which are very good, but I am unwilling to conduct business with an establishment that fails to honor its offers to its patrons. I suspect the incident was limited to the strain of a holiday evening and incomplete planning and is not customary, but I will not be returning to Monello."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Wanted to try Monello's during restaurant week, but missed it by a day. Saw a picture of their pizza and wanted to try it, so we gave it a shot. We were very disappointed. Thought it was overpriced for mediocre food. They offer no bread, so we ordered breadsticks that tasted like dried pizza dough that wasn't baked & charged $5.00. My pizza was disappointing in that there was barely any toppings and the dough was not like the picture I saw and too thin. My friend ordered seafood lasagna and, for the price, it was not good at all. My husband ordered the carbonara and he got the best meal of the 3 of us. Service was great and we had a great time, but will not go back as the food is better and less expensive right across the street."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Hamilton went out of his way to move us to an outdoor table after we had already ordered...a little too loud for our older ears. Excellent pizza....thin crust, charred and chewy rim, and the Raspadura out of this world. Truffle pizza bursting with ingredients which are often skimpy with these little designer pizzas...but not at Monello's."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Many authentic dishes and some good chef creations. Really like the thin sliced potatoes served under the fish."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "This restaurant was the bomb!!!! My wife and I can't say enough good things about it. The staff service and meal were outstanding. I'm from Brooklyn NY and its about time we finally have a restaurant that hits all the notes of my (Homeland). The added bonus is lounge music in the background and the restaurant lighting is dim giving it a more romantic flare."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "Service was great. From the wait staff to the host and management. Always nice to dine somewhere when people take pride in what they do. Had Octopus Carpaccio - very original in way the pressed the fish. Zucchini Carpacio is very delightful too. My daughter had the Gnochi with ragu - outstanding. I forgot how delicious fresh ones taste. Better the Buena Forchetta. Food came out super fast, almost too fast. Noise level almost too loud. Great overall. Will return."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "This was my 2nd time dining at Monello in Little Italy, (1st time was attending a company sponsored holiday party). I've dined at a lot of Italian restaurants having relocated from Boston and Chicago. Monello is a special place with a unique dining experience. The restaurant offers the option of being seated in the main dining area or 'al fresco'. Being Restaurant Week, I sampled the Caesar Salad (presented in wedges), Lasagna (served with spinach pasta--baked to order) and pistachio sorbet. The entire meal was fabulous as only the freshest ingredients were used. To sum it up...Monello has great food, friendly wait staff, and is a choice spot to meet up with friends to enjoy good food and company! Hidden Gem in Little Italy! :)"
    Dined on 1/26/2014
  • "I have been to almost every restaurant in Little Italy and this I have to say is one of the best. The Veggie Pizza was great. I would recommend this place to anyone."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "Quality ingredients and attention to detail made our meal PERFECT! We loved everything. We had fresh pasta and the best lasagna ever. House made gelato is no joke!"
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "Went for Restaurant Week lunch- wonderful pizza, gnocchi and salad."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "Every Restaurant Week we pick a new place in San Diego to try. With the growing trend in Restaurant Week is either smaller portions or a deal that is not really a deal, I was pleasantly surprised with Monello, which offered full portions. All three lunch courses would have been well over $30, but they were charging only $20. From the vegetable soup to the fresh spinach lasagna to a scoop of chocolate gelato, everything made me want to go back again. I always have heard the pizzas are excellent, and I am looking forward to trying it in a future visit. The key with this place is fresh ingredients and preparation of their pastas. This makes the difference!"
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "Excellent food, just like we got in Italy!! Excellent, friendly service. I recommend this to everyone."
    Dined on 1/10/2014
  • "went for brunch - food was good - had a breakfast dish but I don't like to pay for bread at breakfast"
    Dined on 9/8/2013
  • "If you are looking for authentic Italian food and flavors, then look no further. The food is fresh and inventive. The staff is knowledgeable, accommodating and friendly. I am from Sacramento but work in San Diego, I eat at Monello at least once per week and have never been disappointed."
    Dined on 1/3/2014
  • "We probably won't go back because of the limited menu, and because we barely drink, but the pizza was fabulous!"
    Dined on 1/1/2014