Monello

4.4
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1185 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 1185 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best Italian food in Little Italy!

C
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

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

H
San Antonio
68 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

OT
Grand Rapids
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 2

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

OT
Monterrey
6 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

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
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service! Food was excellent!

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was great all around :)

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Drinks were awful, but food was awesome

LS
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fresh and classic Italian, amazing service. The spicy salami pizza was the best!

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

I don’t know why I expected so much more from my experience at the restaurant. The wine was amazing, the appetizer was also incredible. However, I was underwhelmed with how bland the sauce to my gnocchi was. It was a Parmesan cream and that is just it, you expect a rich and salty Parmesan flavor from the sauce but you don’t. The cheese wheel pasta was not as impressive nor did they shave as much cheese as I’d hope they would. Overall it was a good time.

AB
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Good food, great staff.

OT
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Great food. Great service. Stars deducted for ambiance (too causal for my taste) and for plating (too simple). Recommend for causal night out for some really good Italian food. Bonus: Dessert was just as delicious as entrees, if not better.

JL
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 4

The food was great. I put a note that it was my fiance's birthday and even selected the option for "Birthday" in the opentable app and yet NO ONE acknowledged her birthday, that was a big let down.

KD
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Disappointed that the cheese wheel risotto is only served on Wednesdays and there are no other options of pasta dishes to choose from for the cheese wheel on weekends.
But here are pics of other dishes we had on a Saturday

S
San Diego
29 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was my husband‘s actual birthday, we came for restaurant week, the three-course meal was delicious and plenty of food. We also had a delicious bottle of wine. Great value. We will be back.

A
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’m pleased every time! The Parma piadine rolled bites and the Caramelle pasta are THE BEST.

RK
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

THE CHEESEWHEEL PASTA AND TIRAMISU WAS TO DIE FOR! MY FRIENDS AND I ARE DEFINITELY COMING BACK FOR THAT. SANTIAGO WAS AN EXCELLENT SERVER, AND OUR FOOD WAS EXTREMELY GOOD.

o
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The hostess was very accommodating and servers knew the menu very well. Water was always filled and my table wasn’t feeling rushed by anyone which is always a great feeling. The restaurant was pleasing with the engaging environment and nice atmosphere.

OT
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

No wait for our 5:30pm reservation. The cheese wheel pasta met our expectations!

OT
Caribbean
9 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service

k
Central Coast
11 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The cheese wheel pasta was soooooo good. The veggies were disappointing but the pastas were amazing. Definitely make a reservation!

OT
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Food was okay but pricey.

SH
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a fine restaurant with delicious foods. Appetizers and Entrees were all good.

BK
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server was amazing! He was informative and attentive! Definitely coming back next visit!

OT
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

The service was good - our waiter made sure we knew the specials and explained the menu since we hadn’t been there before. The food was average. My gnocchi were very sticky, my friend’s shrimp ravioli was very “fishy” tasting . The lasagne was the best - homemade noodles were very smooth and delicate. The sister Boncotto is much better.

m
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was very good . We sat outside so the cheese wheel presentation was done inside so that was a bit awkward but overall a good experience. We went during happy hour and were treated to a bunch of complimentary small plates

OT
Seattle
9 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Very loud atmosphere, service was lack luster. Nice people but far and few between visits.

OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 3

Food wasn’t that great

N
London
4 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Freundliches Personal
Top Pasta - auf jeden Fall das Tagesangebot wählen das wird im Parmesan finalisiert (siehe Foto)
der Preis ist eher oben
würde aber nochmals gehen!

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RR
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really loud but excellent service and very tasty food.

CY
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 3ambience 4

Food was not that good. The cheese wheel experience was great but flavor sub-par.

T
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 1

I was greatly looking forward to trying the infamous cheese wheel pasta, however, the pasta was extremely rich but too much so. It’s also a bit expensive at $26 for a pasta dish. The ambiance was quite sterile and cold for an Italian place, they must like a very modern clean look but the mostly concrete and uncomfortable chairs wasn’t very inviting, and it’s hard to cold during a San Diego summer. The service was very nice and respectable, that was the best part. Unfortunately with all of the other great spots in little Italy I don’t foresee myself coming back.

SB
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went to Monello for a family reunion dinner, and almost everyone got the cheese wheel pasta. So delicious, and so was everything else that was ordered as well. Fresh made pasta is hard to beat

OT
Richmond
11 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food! Great vibe and superb service! Must try the cardinale cocktail and cheese wheel pasta!!

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved everything about Monello. We came on a Sunday evening when the restaurant was not as busy. My partner and I were blown away by the flavors. I definitely recommend the cheese wheel if it’s your first time. We were celebrating my birthday so at the end of the night we got a complimentary tiramisu. It was so easy to make a reservation through open table. We will be coming back!

HC
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 3

The food was great! We waited way to long for drinks, even the surrounding tables were complaining too. Drinks came only a couple minutes before or entrees. Service was slow. Had to ask the waiter for our check only to realize we were charged for 3 entrees instead of 2. This adjustment then took longer than it should have and the waitress never apologized for the mistake. Made me wonder if it was intentional. 2 top tables outside were way to packed in that even the waiters couldn't get around without bumping the tables. Again the food was excellent but everything else was a little disappointing.

MY
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Food and service was great. Our main issue was that it was extremely hot inside the restaurant. There was no air circulation. We were fanning ourselves with the menus and we were sweating. The ceiling fans did nothing. Eventually we could feel a bit of air from the AC. But we were still hot. I understand that it is summer but there should be a solution to keep patrons comfortable during all seasons.
But, again, food and service was great!

c
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 4

Food:
The beans that came out were gross/I ordered bread, it was dry...not good/sweet red sparkling wine...amazing/cheese bowl...amazing

Service....He was beading sweat and was in a rush all of the time. No interesting conversation or recommendations.

Patio....very cramped and my legs kept getting hit by waiter and people coming by

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