Monello

4.5
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1256 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 1256 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
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
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L
Philadelphia
10 reviews
Dined 16 hours ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

FABULOUS BRUNCH!!!

OT
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Quaint restaurant in Little Italy with full bar, outstanding food and phenomenal service. Tuesday- Sunday you can have the "at your table cheese-wheel service" and it's too die for.

NS
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food!!!! Try the pasta in the Parmesan wheel it was unbelievable!

EP
San Diego
54 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Their hashtag is #lovemonello. I have eaten here many times. I will be frank, I do love this place, the food is phenomenal. The calamari with the balsamic aioli is wonderful. The truffle dishes are amazing.

OT
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Great service and info about the different menu items by the staff. Would definitely return again!

BC
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved this place! The food was delicious! Gotta try the pasta on the cheese wheel! Romantic place ... btw they have the best tiramisu ever!

WL
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such a great dining experience! Our server was wonderful man’s the dishes were ordered were delicious!

S
Richmond
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Family outing

RC
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall2food3service1ambience3

The service was pathetic and the food was just OK. I would not recommend this place to anyone

PR
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall4food3service3ambience5

The pizzas are amazing!
The pasta, so so....
The appetizer beans fabulous!
The restaurants beautiful!!!!

J
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience4

This review may be slightly distorted by the fact that it was new year's eve, but I'm going to describe the experience. Since we were visiting San Diego for the week, we booked ourselves an evening out. We chose a somewhat later time slot (8:45) because of the holiday. Getting there, we had a smooth check-in and were seated promptly. Once we sat down, we saw that the menu had changed in two days for the evening. First, it was streamlined to take out some of the options we really wanted to try. Second, the prices were somewhat inflated relative to their regular prices. Once we ordered our drinks, we saw that we were basically the only table not given marinated beans to snack on. So, we requested some. The calamari was fine. For our mains, we ordered the seafood lasagna, which was generous in its seafood portions and delicious, and the seafood pasta, which was tasty but just a touch too al dente (and I like al dente... to a point). After my wine being empty for 15-20 minutes, I was finally able to catch the attention of our waiter (who I had been looking for the whole time), and I ordered a beer. We would have ordered more wine (or more drinks in general) if the waiter had been more attentive. That's why we also left after choosing not to order dessert. We were over it.

OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Dinner was absolutely delicious! Service was excellent. Prices reasonable. My favorite place to eat.

JZ
Denver
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience3

Food was just alright. Didn’t stand out for us flavor-wise. Plus it was quite noisy and expensive for what we felt we got.

MO
San Diego
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall2food1service3ambience2

Food prep not of the quality we expected based on reviews. Fava been appetizer undercooked, nearly raw. Grilled vegetables bland. Short rib was not really a short rib but more like stew meat in texture and quality. It was tender, but not as flavorful as I would have expected. Husbands seafood spaghetti was just ok. We were disappointed.

TB
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Everything was great. Must get cheese wheel pasta. The only thing was my husband ordered seafood lasagna and there was a couple bits of a shell from lobster.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall2food3service3ambience4

Went for an anniversary and it wasn't mentioned at all

OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall2food2service1ambience2

他人のチャックを持ってくるとは信じられない。
アメリカ旅行は長いけど初めてです。
とんでもない対応ですね。
行くべきお店ではありません。

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A
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

The food was way over priced for the quality. It didn’t taste any better the my local Macaroni Grill. The food came out on the cold side. It didn’t seem fresh. The service was slow and we were the only ones dining at the time. The staff was not friendly, and lacked professionalism. I will definitely not be going back.

MD
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely fantastic ! Some of best Italian food I’ve had .

s
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

This restaurant came highly recommended, however I think we came on an off night. Despite having reservations we were never seated (grabbed a spot at the bar instead) or updated, food was just average (my pasta a bit too al dante, my boyfriend’s salad was the equivalent of bagged lettuce and very average chicken entree. However, if I lived in San Diego I’d def give it another try as so many people told us to go there. Maybe next trip.

JN
Seattle
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food! Great service. We had to wait a short bit for our table even though we made a reservation but it was well worth it! Fun vibrant atmosphere too!

DC
San Diego
9 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We really enjoyed the restaurant. The service was very good and the food was delicious

LR
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Very delicious! It’s definitely a special experience but expensive to go too often. Staff was a little slow but I understand that’s how it works in Italy they’re not as rushed after eating as we are in America so it was an authentic experience! Will be back again, but for a special occasion

D
Phoenix
26 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We always plan at least one dinner at Monello each time we visit San Diego. It was exceptional as always. Don't pass up the bread , it's focaccia and a real treat. I thought my wife was going to eat it all by herself. All three of our dinners, my chicken and their pastas were delicious. The best part of the night was watching how many others opted for a pasta dish that was prepared at their tables. That's for us next time.

OT
Tokyo
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

チーズリゾットが美味しかった。

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OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Came here with my girlfriend for our Xmas Eve dinner. This is our 2nd year doing this so it’s become sort of a tradition. We’ve been to Monello before and have brought many friends from out of town here since after moving to SD in 2017 and it’s become our go to spot in Little Italy for good affordable Italian!

Coming from NYC, we know good Italian. This visit exceed expectations as always. The food was amazing quality and the wine was excellent. We ordered the seafood spaghetti and the prosciutto and fig pizza as well as calamari for our appetizer. Great taste, crispy calamari with amazing balsamic aoli, fresh tasting seafood and pasta, and authentically crispy and flavorful pizza!

The waiter even took it upon himself to split our spaghetti onto two plates without us asking because we were sharing everything. He was attentive and fast, and we really appreciated that a lot.

Overall another memorable experience at one of our favorite spots!

J
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

We had a Christmas dinner at Monello, even though it was packed service was fast and efficient. Food was delicious.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall2food1service3ambience3

My food was super fishy and tough. The appetizer was tasteless... They asked me if I want to taste the wine first but didn't show me the bottle. I don't know what's the point? Meh. Won't go back.

CG
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Friend Christmas dinner. Everything was DELICIOUS!!! Will be back for sure.

v
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding service and the food was DELICIOUS!!!!!! Can’t wait to go back!

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience4

I found the restaurant to present value for what you got. The service was good but not great. I judge an Italian restaurant by it’s Cacio e Pepe. This one was a bit pasty and definitely not enough pepper, so it was a bit disappointing. The appetizer and salad, cocktails and wine we’re all great. I would go back, but would avoid this particular pasta dish.
It was a friendly atmosphere, they seated us right at our reservation time and all in all it was a very pleasant evening.

a
Vancouver
25 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had an incredible meal at Monello - the servers were all lovely and the cheese wheel was such a unique experience. I was worried the pasta would be subpar because some places rely on the gimmick rather than the actual quality of the food but this pasta was one of the best I’ve ever had! The cheese wheel was just a bonus! Highly recommended and we left this place full and happy.

KU
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The special gnocchi were out of this world! Keep up the great work!

KH
Detroit
21 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience3

The server did not want to be bothered with us. We told him it was our first time at the restaurant and he basically responded with “great.” He offered zero recommendations, didn’t walk us through the menu or mention any specialties. Meanwhile we see the table next to us with pasta being stirred in a giant cheese bowl. Would’ve been nice to know about that. He only asked if we were ready to order. I should mention, we were his first table of the evening, so there was no reason (like being too busy) for him to rush us, or do the bare minimum to take care of us - at all. The pasta was great. The drinks were TERRIBLE. My husband ordered an old fashioned that was basically nothing but bourbon (see pic) and I asked for a vodka gimlet with basil. I received a glass of vodka and a basil leaf. We choked down our drinks and left without ordering dessert - not that he offered it anyway.

j
Austin
32 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

It was our second time here for the cheese wheel pasta special. This time it was a pistachio pesto, which was delicious. The squid ink pasta with lobster bisque sauce and octopus was one of our favorites from last time, so we ordered it again, and it was just as good. I thought the margherita pizza was good, but not the best we've had.

Our server was not the most patient or attentive, but it was a busy night, so I'm sure she was juggling a lot of requests and tables. She was very nice though and even brought out a small tiramisu for our birthday celebration. Everyone else who came by to serve our dishes, pack our leftovers, etc were wonderful.

Also loved the nice seats by the windows. Nice ambiance, good food, friendly people... it all made for a great date night.

GN
1 review
Dined on December 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were celebrating our Anniversary & came to San Diego while we were out - coming from an NFL game in Phoenix (we live in Arkansas). First, we arrived late & they STILL honored our reservation (parking was definitely a problem during that hour). We were seated immediately (they were very busy) & our waiter was readily available. There was something he placed on our table that we didn't know how to eat (Edamame?), but he cleared it up for us when he returned. It was delightful, but we still didn't eat it. Otherwise,our experience was definitely unforgettable. The serving portions were excellent...we couldn't finish everything. The waiter offered us a free small dessert to celebrate our anniversary, but we had to turn it down because we were so full! I hope this place stays full also.

OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on December 10, 2019
Overall5food4service3ambience3

Great times with awesome gnocchi! It was a little loud for a date night, but we had a great time! Service was attentive, but it was busy so maybe someone else could’ve touched the table to ask if we needed anything.

t
San Diego
11 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our out of town guests loved the food!

OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Monello is my favorite restaurant in San Diego! I love coming in regularly to try their cheese wheel specials. Their homemade pasta is always perfectly cooked. Their pizza is truly amazing as well, I would highly recommend the prosciutto pizza! Their happy hour is great as well, I love the delicious bites they bring with each drink. Go to Monello, you won’t regret it!

MG
1 review
Dined on December 4, 2019
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.

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