Straightforward, tasty dishes from Southern Italy are served and enjoyed beneath Mona Lisa's famous smile. The wait staff is friendly, knowledgeable ... More
Straightforward, tasty dishes from Southern Italy are served and enjoyed beneath Mona Lisa's famous smile. The wait staff is friendly, knowledgeable and professional, and the ambience is relaxed. House specialties include Veal Piccatta, Chicken Milanese and Calamare Fritti. Lots of homemade pasta, chicken and fish dishes are on the menu, all of them tasting the way your mother would have made them if she had come from Napoli. The service is terrific.
I have been coming to this restaraunt for over 5 years and must say that it is one of my favorite Italian restaraunts in North Beach! Not only is the food great, but so is the staff. The menu is huge and has everything one could desire, including lots of yummy dishes for us vegetarians (try the asparagus ravioli)! The food is pretty basic & simple--which is sooo authentically Italian--not overloaded with garlic like some places. All of the waiters are Italian and have been there as long as I have been eating here, maybe even longer. I love the ambience and entertainment offered by listening to the staff blabbing in Italian. Everyone is so laid-back and makes you feel like your in the South of Italy. Yet, the dim lighting and violinist make it perfect for a romantic date. It is not the tourist trap like some reviewers have claimed, but is a mix of locals and tourists alike. Weekends can be chaotic, with long lines and sometimes a long wait. Even if you reserve a table, you might have to wait, but it is definately worth it. Good food, good people, decent prices, and loads of fun!
The food was mediocre and when our part got the bill, the server overcharged us and in addition gave himself a 25% tip that he did not deserve.
I am not coming back, all you pay for is the premium on the location and decorations on the walls. Lousy food, ok service. DON'T EAT HERE!
I ate here last night with my boyfriend - we both hail from Northeastern Italian families, so we were excited about North Beach, but we found many of the restaraunts to be a bit pricey, and we chose Mona Lisa because it seemed to have the coziest ambience, but that was about it. The waiter was nice, but way over the top with his "GRAZIE!" - he seemed more like an actor in Disney Land than a waiter who would know anything about food. There are no "specialties" on the menu, just lists of different pasta noodles with the same "sauces" - every sauce sounding terribly un-original, and unauthentic and overpiced. We started with a bowl of pasta fagioli ($6.95)- the test for italian authenticity - it was warm and kinda tasty with cheese, but not like the real thing. We then shared a spagetti with seafood mix ($16.95) that was the size of our appetizer- The white wine sauce was tasteless, the pasta was not of good quality and left us unsatisfied but unable to afford more food. Without asking, with waiter put the dessert menu open faced on our already cramped table - (the menu was in a little black binder with pictures).
All of this could have been humorously tolerated if the music playing had been something Italian, Opera, or even Jazz for effect, and not Celene Dion/Phil Collins.
We drank our bottle of wine (Chianti Tiziano $26), pretty fast so that we could leave - instead of the usual romatic slow nursing that ensues a great meal.
This restaraunt is way off the mark of good Italian food - the entire purpose of Italian being that your eyes, your mouth and your stomach are overloaded with food joy.
We're usually good sports when it comes to restaraunts, but we felt more like duped tourists, than SF dwellers with a desire for good authentic food.
The pasta dishes we had were
authentic Italian,and also very delicious. The service was excellent, and our waiter was very friendly, funny and experienced. The prices were very reasonable. I would go back in a heartbeat.
I highly recommend the Mona Lisa to all who visit San Francisco, my favorite U.S
We had a great experience at Mona Lisa. The atomsphere was intimate but festive. There were probably about five too many tables packed into a relatively small space, but it's SF, afterall. :) The menu was HUGE (50+ pasta dishes, 10 dishes for each of the meats, 15 appetizers, full dessert menu). I've had some bad experiences with Italian restaurants trying to get "unique" in SF and was glad to encounter a very traditional Italian restaurant with an extensive menu. The service was friendly and efficient, and they even brought us an order of bruschetta on the house for no reason. One member of our group actually wanted a pasta dish that wasn't on the menu (unbelievable, I know), and they made it happily and quite well. Everybody was satisfied with the food...not the absolute best Italian I've ever had but very good nonetheless. Prices for most dishes were in the $12-15 range ($6-10 for appetizers). I would definitely go back, as there were many more dishes that I'd like to try!
I dragged my fiance here based upon this website's recommendations and will never hear the end of his complaints. After being so warmly welcomed by the host/street hawker at the door, we were squished into the front of an almost empty restaurant and felt like the waiter really had to take time out of his day to serve us.
From the minute we sat down I knew it was a mistake. The decor was pretty but the wind from the front door was blinding my view.
The food was blah - gluey sauces over small pasta portions and the chicken was a mound of mush covered with the same gluey sauce. And while it appears that their menu is extensive look closer - same ole pasta dishes with different sauces.
Finding good Italian food in North Beach is starting to be an expensive experiment.
The host staff is completely incompetent. Our group of 10 people were seated at 9 o'clock despite our having an 8 o'clock reservation months ahead of time. We stood and watched groups of 5 and 6 people be seated that had walked up to be seated after we showed up. The waitress was helpful in getting us our food quickly so we could make a 10 o'clock show that we were going to. The entire mood of my fathers birthday was ruined. I won't go back and I suggest looking elsewhere if you are planning a special occasion. They will surely spoil the mood.
Mona Lisa has the best Italian food and service in SF. When we lived in SF we were regulars -- at least once a week. We now live on the East Coast and are eagerly awaiting our vacation to California this summer so we can experience the wonderful food and atmosphere that the Mona Lisa offers.
The view of San Francisco from this funky little cafe is worth checking out. It features a courtyard with a
fountain that lets you take in the sun on a non foggy San Francisco day. The best part of ...
Located on Union Square in the heart of San Francisco, near world premier shopping, Chinatown, and the Theater District, the
Grand Hyatt San Francisco gives you easy access to cable cars to Fisherman's Wharf and Ghirardelli Square.Amenities include a ...
Since 1875, sophisticated travelers from around the world have called the Palace Hotel, San Francisco, home. The hotel has played
host to kings and queens, presidents, and dignitaries. Important social and political affairs of San Francisco have taken place ...