Monello

4.5
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1216 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
As Bencotto's brother located next door,
Monello lives up to its sibling's reputation as Best Italian restaurant in San Diego.
From the 800 LB of fresh pasta handcrafted every week, Monello displays up to 27 different recipes of pasta.
Mediterranean style seafood is served along with gourmet pizza.
Every Wednesday Monello delivers Risotto cooked in the Parmigiano cheese wheel at sidetable.
Unique Italian-style brunch is served on weekends.
Voted Best Happy Hour 2016, Monello's Milanese Aperitivo offers small plates on the house with drinks every night.
UN­ABLE TO FIND A TABLE? CHECK OUT OUR BROTHER RESTAURANT BENCOTTO NEXT DOOR - SAME CHEF!
What 1216 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
80% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MG
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall2food1service2ambience4

Fried appetizer could have come from Applebees. Carbonare was greasy. Pasta had no taste like there was no salt in the water to give it flavor. Waiter checked on my beverage needs after meal was over.

M
Phoenix
38 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great pizza, so big though we really should’ve shared! Nice wine list.

L
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience4

Food just fair. Not hot and the Caesar salad very disappointing. Pizza best. The cheese wheel pasta had not flavor and the squid pasta was not as good as we remembeted

CG
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

I go there for their cheese wheel pastas they do during the week. They never disappoint. The food is consistently good. Very low key neighborhood place but does get busy so make a reservation.

LA
San Diego
66 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Monello is a classic. It's fresh, authentic and delicious. One of my favorites for Happy Hour too!

SW
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Compared to other similar restaurants in Little Itay, Monello is overpriced and a bit pretentious. Some of the food was good, like the sweet potato gnocci and the salmon, but other items were very mediocre. My sister’s pizza was very soggy and my husband’s steak was underseasoned and served lukewarm. He was also served a salad consisting of just greens and onions. When he asked for dressing, the server acted as though he’d never heard of salad dressing before and just kept bringing more olive oil. I would not go back, especially considering how many other great restaurants are in the area.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were in town visiting friends and they suggested Monello’s.. it was wonderful. My friend had Raviloi and I had a spaghetti dish with a variety of seafood. I apologize I do not recall the exact name of the plates, but they were exquisite! I highly recommend you visit this location as soon as possible. We will definitely return!

RJ
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience2

Some food was cold. Also, we were celebrating an anniversary and I mentioned this, but no one did anything or even asked.

DR
San Diego
13 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great pasta.

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AH
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience3

We went there for the pasta in the big cheese wheel. My lady purchased that meal for $26. It was a lot of pasta and the flavor was pretty good. I ordered a breaded chicken on a bed of mashed potatoes, and was a little disappointed that it wasn't very flavorful. The calamari appetizer was good and, the $3 bread order was also needed. The place is loud, and they have inside and outside seating. Lot of choices for Italian food in this area of San Diego. So make sure you choose correctly. Out the door without drinks for 2 dinners, with 2 apps, about $80. So not terrible. Had to do valet parking for another $12 down the street.

LC
San Diego
18 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Another great meal with a whole group of friends this time. Excellent food and top notch service from our waiter, Santiago! A fabulous evening for all!

PC
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

We were rushed, just after they served our salad, here come's our main dish.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My time at Monello was wonderful, and Daniel was a great server for us! Thank you Daniel!!!

OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience3

Went here because reviews were good but not sure why. Food was ok bit over priced. Service could be much improved.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was amazing! Everyone so nice.

k
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

every time a friend comes to visit me in san diego, i make sure to take them here! the cheese wheel is next level and the arribiata penne is so good. theyre happy hour is also pretty decent (buy a drink and get a flight of 3 apps (all so good)). i would come here every day if i could. i currently drive 35 minutes to eat here now! highly recommend and will be back soon.

PB
San Diego
9 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience3

Really wanted to love Monello but the whole experience was affected by the Hostess. Even with a reservation for my daughters birthday we were seated at a tiny table with tiny outdoor chairs in the middle of the dinning-room. I was knocked twice by the server at the next table before we had even looked at the menu. The table wasn’t even set for 4 people we had to ask for silverware when our appetizer arrived. We asked to be moved 3 times as there were empty tables but the hostess refused to accommodate us saying that the other tables were reserved, although they remained open throughout our meal. The food was ok but after the overall experience we will not be back.

N
Philadelphia
13 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Two of us had dinner at Monello. We tried the porchetta as an appetizer which was very filling this was followed by delicious home made pasta and gnocchi with wonderful sauces. We attended on a Friday evening and had made a reservation which is recommended, as the restaurant was crowded. Noise level is high when restaurant is busy.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

From the table outside under a heater to the wine to the bread and dipping oil to the cheese bowl pasta - it was AMAZING! We were not rushed to order which was so enjoyable!

m
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Great, delicious salmon!! Not a place to have a nice, quiet dinner where you can talk with your friends.

OC
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The cheese wheel pasta was the star of the show, the belle of the ball, the creme de la creme.

TB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall3food5service3ambience3

food was very good. service was mediocre. took a while for water refills. dirty plates stayed on table for a while after eating. one person dropped off food and said the busser would remove dirty plates. had to ask to phave dirty plates removed. disappointing service for a higher end restaurant. been here before so this experience will not discourage me from returning.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience5

My wife and I reserved a table for the first night of our honeymoon and made a note of it in our reservation. Nobody in the host stands, management staff, or server said anything in congrats. That’s fine I suppose but that should be an easy win to make us feel welcomed.

Regardless, our server was in a section and very blatantly was focusing his attention on high guest count tables with a bigger check. They were slow to greet us, did the bare minimum, but was was still a kind and hospitable person so we ultimately didn’t say anything, but we just felt half payed attention to relative to the many other times we have been to Monello.

I’ve waited tables for years and know it’s not hard to check these boxes and communicate between different staff that people are celebrating, but make sure not to make guests feel like their celebration isn’t as important as another’s because one will land a bigger tip.

TB
San Diego
28 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience4

I don't quite get why this is rated so highly. I felt the food was uninspiring and bland. The prosciutto and burrata wrap was mostly arugula. Grilled octopus tasted a bit too rubbery and fishy. The caramelle sounded great ("handmade pasta filled with porcini and black truffle in a truffle cream sauce"), and I was expecting something very truffly, but I could barely smell/taste the truffle, just a chalky cream flavor. service was ok, but they seemed to be in a bit of a hurry to turn over our table for another customer.

overall the dishes seemed bland, not bad enough to send back, but not good enough to rave about and return for.

W
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was amazing, the service was excellent all wrapped in a very pleasant ambience of tasteful yet trendy decor.

V
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Delicious pasta! Server took a bit to take our first order, but understandably so for a busy night. I suggested we order a bottle of chardonnay, and the server proceeded to check my ID and only mine despite the request coming from my boyfriend. When the bottle was brought out, she didn’t even bat an eye at me and asked my boyfriend if he wanted a taste test and poured a glass only for him. I was caught a bit off guard; it felt weird, I couldn’t help but think she assumed I must know nothing of good wine because I look young, or like my opinion simply didn’t matter. This bothered me a lot, but the food, drink, and atmosphere compensated for the discrepancy.

S
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great meal. Pasta portions are sizable so can be a shared if you are having an appetizer.

Attentive service.

Wonderful lunch on a Saturday .

DD
Salt Lake City
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing as always! Two words: cheese wheel!

OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Exceptional

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Celebrating date night. Service was very good.

OT
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best Italian food in Little Italy!

C
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service was great as well as the food! Love the squid ink spaghetti with octopus and lobster bisque! Definitely would visit again!

SB
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience4

The food was mouth watering and amazing! Great place to check out.

H
San Antonio
71 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great evening. Always great food and service at Monello. It’s been a while since we have been but it was fantastic! Thanks

PS
Raleigh
36 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Very good restaurant. Upon arrival attempted to sit outside but the music from an adjoining establishment was not appropriate for family dining. Reseated inside with no difficulty. Service was excellent, very attentive and informative. Waiter addressed all of our questions and provided insight. Food was brought out in a timely fashion and appropriate temp. Quality of flavor development was very good and equal of any Italian restaurant in which I have dined. (Full disclosure, I like to eat but I am not Italian.) Strongly consider the daily cheese wheel special. I highly recommend the restaurant and would eat here again.

OT
Grand Rapids
3 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall1food3service1ambience2

Horrible service. Our waiter, Daniel, was extremely forgetful and took over 15 minutes to greet our table. We were extremely disappointed.

a
Monterrey
7 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Es una gran opción para comida italiana y en el corazón de Little Italy en San Diego. Estupenda comida.

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall4food5service2ambience4

I love eating at Monello, even though the service was quite slow the food was superior.

OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service! Food was excellent!

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was great all around :)

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