If you are an East Coast refugee salivating for a Union Square pizza or maybe some Little Italy meatballs and spaghetti, take heart. This authentic ... More
Mona Lisa Itallian Restaurant
If you are an East Coast refugee salivating for a Union Square pizza or maybe some Little Italy meatballs and spaghetti, take heart. This authentic Italian deli and restaurant will satisfy your cravings. Family owned and operated, Mona Lisa Italian Restaurant specializes in homemade submarines, pasta and pizza. This place just may become your home away from home. Better yet, if you are a newcomer to Italian cuisine this is a tasty introduction to a genuine Italian deli.
I've lived in San Diego for 15 years and have eaten at nearly every Italian food restaurant available (being bred on the East coast, I felt it my duty). I had eaten at Mona Lisa about 10 years ago and it was okay. Last night a friend convinced me to try it again, that it has improved.
Not only has it not improved, the quality of food has diminshed. The italian dressing is cloudy and is of a Wish-Bone quality at best. Both entrees were sent back due to being served cold, the garlic bread was cold as well, and our neighbors pizza was burnt all around the edges.
From what I see, this restaurant is an institution in San Diego, there was a wait to get in and the customers seemed relatively happy (maybe it's the wine). I'm sorry to say, not I nor my friends will be visiting Mona Lisa again. I will stick with Nicolosi's (best homemade italian dressing and baked bread available that I have yet to find on the West coast). A little more costly - but, definately worth every penny!
I ordered a simple plate of pasta with meatballs. It was served in a plate full of water, and I've bought better sauce on sale at Ralphs. My wife and kids got the soggiest pizza ever. I don't know, maybe the kitchen was just flooded?
The service is very friendly, return customers become family! The food is authentically Italian! Fair prices. Overall its a great Italian Restaurant. One thing I really appreciate, they are willing to modify their menu selections if necessary, its never a problem. Any request is never a burden!
I've been going there for about 15 years as I work near there. The Pizza is the best I've had in San Diego. Great Crust, great everything. The deli and grocery store is excellent too. I often go there to pick up lunch. Their sub sandwiches are also the best I've had in San Diego. (And there are some other darn good subs in little Italy) It starts with the bread and goes from there. The Caprese sub is terrific. That is soft mozzarella with tomato slices and fresh basil on a great Italian roll with a sprinkling of oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. For a special treat have them throw a slice or two of prosciuto on it. Unbeatable. They also have a good selection of wine, liquors and Italian style sodas.
I lived in the Allied Gardens area for many years before moving to North County. The Mona Lisa restaurant on Waring Road was the only sadness of moving away. The Mona Lisa restaurants are both family owned but the recipes are completely different between the Allied Gardens and Downtown locations. The Mona Lisa on Waring Road specifically, has by far the best pizza in the county. Forget Chicago or New York. When I have guests in from the Midwest, this is the first place everyone asks to go. Everyone unanimously agrees, it's the best pizza anywhere. I know big statement but hey, it's the truth. Their crust recipe is unique. It has a distinctive and pleasing flavor that I've yet to find anywhere else. It makes the pie. Their sauce and toppings are always fresh, high quality and cooked perfectly. Oh and their sandwiches? It's always a tossup between which we'll order, pizza or torpedo. The sandwich begins on a toasted torpedo roll that is always fresh, crispy and again with a wonderful flavor that makes the meal. We may have moved but my wife and I often drive from La Costa to treat ourselves to a great meal. Once you’ve had their pizza or torpedoes, everything else falls short. Give it a try. You won't be disappointed
it's a great place to grab a sandwich during the day. The restaurant is good, but I'd rather go to Filippi's in the evening.
They also have good pizza dough and other ingredients for a big din din at your own kitchen
Mona Lisa is one of the best family-style restaurants I've eaten at. They're ricotta dishes are exceptional (i.e. lasagna, manicotti, raviolli) and the ingredients tasted fresh. Their pizza is pretty good but the minestrone soup was the best I've had in a long, long time--with a ton of veggies (My wife's a vegetarian and it's the only minestrone she eats).
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