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“Outstanding Aperitivo and Happy Hour.”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Monello

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Ranked #176 of 4,726 Restaurants in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$30 - US$30
Cuisines: Italian, Pizza
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar Scene, Child-friendly, Business meetings, Romantic, Special Occasion Dining, Groups
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, After-hours, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Kettner
Transit: MTS Transit Trolley Stop Green Line: County Center/Little Italy
Palm Springs, CA
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Outstanding Aperitivo and Happy Hour.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 May 2014

A group of us went to Aperitivo Happy Hour at Monello last week.

What a fantastic idea to serve a couple small plates with each cocktail. It was so much fun to get a complete sampling of their menu. We had samplings of fried cauliflower, neri pasta, pizza, raspa dura, and polenta. Everything was top notch.

Happy hour was stepped up a bit with fun and creative cocktails such as infused grappa and the ever so tasty caesar carding.

Whether a San Diego local or visiting from afar Monello is not to be missed.

Thank you for making Happy Hour even more fun than usual.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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179 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
South Jersey
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Not good Italian”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 May 2014

The prosciutto appetizer was sliced very thick. This may be a style choice, but it was not good - too tough for this cut. The gnocchi "ragu" was very strong and greasy and left a terrible after taste. I liked the carbonara, but later was killed by the presence of garlic that should not have been in the dish at all.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank swlilsis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
467 reviews
307 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 235 helpful votes
“Worth a try!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 March 2014

Monello is located in the Little Italy District of San Diego. Some of the dishes are still served as they would be in Italy and some have been "Americanized." Depending on your tastes, I would suggest the following items for a genuine taste of Italy . . . panzerotti (DELISH), pizza, and fish. We were somewhat disappointed in the cacio e pepe pasta because there was an overwhelming amount of cream used in the sauce, which is not typical in any Italian dish. The antipasti was also very credible and fresh. The most impressive part of the meal was actually the "sweet vermouth" which is "fatto in casa!" It's offered as a drink before dinner, but in true Italian style we chose to split on and have it served as a digestivo after dinner. In all, it was a good experience and was better than the average Italian food served in America.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Mis_Adventurous
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego
Level Contributor
86 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Can't rate any higher”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2014

Sister restaurant to Bencotto. Wonderful service, small plates, and wine selection. Can't remember a better experience including in Italy!

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank G C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
756 reviews
439 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1,409 helpful votes
“Good for drinks but mediocre food....loud construction noise...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 January 2014

I met my friend here for lunch. We actually tried their sister company (Bencotto) a while back which is next door and I wasn't too impressed with that meal so we never went back. Well, we thought we would give them another chance.

Just not impressed at all. The upside is the service staff is very friendly and polite. No complaints there. The complaints were simply with the food. I just didn't find it that good. I kind of laughed when I read someone say in a post the "best Italian food in San Diego". Far from true, IMHO.

I got the Carbonara pasta which I've ordered literally dozens and dozens of times in many Italian restaurants around the world. NEVER before has it come out cold. Mine here did. The noodles were literally cool.

When I told my waiter I couldn't eat it as it was literally cool he told me there were eggs in it so they couldn't heat it too much or it would change the consistency. Huh?? I've never had cool Carbonara before anywhere. It was totally edible. I never typically send back food but I had no choice.

It seemed strange because our food came right out like rapid quick. I questioned my friend if it was fresh and then when it came out cold I really questioned it. To their credit they did make a new batch and this time it was warm. But just found it unacceptable to bring out cool pasta that is supposed to be hot and then still try to justify it that it's supposed to be that way.

Again, the staff was very friendly so I don't find any fault there. But ultimately for me it's about the food and I didn't find it that good. My buddy had half his plate left over so I can't imagine it was too great.

The place is modern and cool and probably great to meet up for drinks. But keep in mind there is a VERY loud construction going on next door so you can hear that even inside which isn't relaxing.

Based on my experiences, I wouldn't go back again.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank saintba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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