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“Solid 'average'; Nice, but not a standout.”

Mona Lisa Italian Foods Allied Gardens
Ranked #754 of 5,244 Restaurants in San Diego
Price range: US$6 - US$25
Cuisines: Italian
Description: Located in the Allied Gardens neighborhood of San Diego, our authentic homestyle Italian food and restaurant is well known, elegant and delicious. Our dining room offers the perfect atmosphere for private parties while accommodating the more intimate dining experiences. Our menu is flexible and offers savory Italian favorites. At Mona Lisa Italian Foods, we have everything from a la carte options to the very best in authentic home style Italian catering for large groups. Our low priced catering services offer a wide variety of foods and services for homes, offices, weddings and banquets. If you don't have time to dine in, we also have a takeout menu available with the same exquisite taste.
Restaurant details
Description: Located in the Allied Gardens neighborhood of San Diego, our authentic homestyle Italian food and restaurant is well known, elegant and delicious. Our dining room offers the perfect atmosphere for private parties while accommodating the more intimate dining experiences. Our menu is flexible and offers savory Italian favorites. At Mona Lisa Italian Foods, we have everything from a la carte options to the very best in authentic home style Italian catering for large groups. Our low priced catering services offer a wide variety of foods and services for homes, offices, weddings and banquets. If you don't have time to dine in, we also have a takeout menu available with the same exquisite taste.
Reviewed 7 February 2017

Nice curb appeal - looks 'authentic' Italian (and is, I suppose), or maybe 'traditional' is a better adjective. Interior decor is a bit dated, but again, that kind of adds to the 'traditional' feel. I guess the menu is a bit dated too. I was expecting something more 'fresh' and with some zing, but I was off-target for what Mona Lisa offers. My Veal Scallopini was mediocre. They piled-on a ton of mushrooms (canned, sadly), which was a bit puzzling. Sauce was OK; Veal was good! My wife's lasagna was very good - again, I like to the description of 'traditional'. My son had a calamari pasta dish, and gobbled it up. I think it's safe to give it a 'good' to 'great' rating.

Now, here is my biggest pet-peeve: I love it when an Italian restaurant serves fresh bread with butter. But Mona Lisa's choice is... ...oven-baked garlic bread (like you'd buy from the grocery and bake yourself). And to make it even worse (for me, & my personal taste), they also served, with soup appetizer,... ...dry, chalky breadsticks :( I'm sure many folks like breadsticks, and garlic bread, but if your tastes are like mine, then to get the most out of Mona Lisa I suggest to adjust your expectations before enjoying a meal there.

Regardless of my complaints, I do appreciate the work, time & effort that the owners & staff put in to my enjoyment! It's pretty clear they have many highly satisfied customers. I hope you enjoy your visit too!

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank PeteEgg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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12 - 16 of 52 reviews

Reviewed 13 January 2017

What a great neighborhood Italian restaurant. The lunch menu is pretty simple - just pasta, pizza, and sandwiches, but the sauces are superb. Everything is obviously prepared fresh. We can't wait to go back for dinner.

The waitress told us the restaurant had just celebrated its 50th year at that location, and she was celebrating her 30th, having started there when she was 18! The place is practically an institution!

Thank oldnevadan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2017 via mobile

It's as fresh as it gets.
They cut the meat right in front of you . I ordered 2 to go and they were both fantastic.
Busy place so parking may be a challenge but it's worth it.
If you like Italian this is a stop to do.

Thank kentonbear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2016 via mobile

Now I understand why they have been around so long: probably the best pizza in San Diego. Great salad. We've only done take-out, so can't really comment on ambience, but take-out service was perfect.

Thank Richard P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2016 via mobile

My husband loves the pizza. I'm not a pizza lover so I go for the pasta. It's tasty! The salads are great! Really good Italian food. It's a go to spot for birthdays and lil parties. Great family restaurant!!

Thank Christy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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