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Mona Lisa Deli

dbwave Feb 16, 2011 04:11 PM

So this has already been covered but I wanted to RAVE about this deli/market. I went to today to get some Italian Can Tuna and ended up shopping a bit there. The Italian Tuna is amazing. I have never eaten it before and was delicious right out of the can. I also picked up Ricotta and Parm Cheese. The Parm was great quality but I was BLOWN away how good the Ricotta was! I don't know if I can ever get Ricotta anywhere else. There were some many other things I would like to try but will save it for another visit.

Any other good experiences there?

Mona Lisa Deli
2061 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

  1. jmtreg Feb 23, 2011 09:53 AM

    I go to Mona Lisa probably once every two weeks or so for provisions - Pastene brand tomatoes, olive oil, Polly-O mozzarella, etc. - but you know, I've never eaten at the restaurant. How is it?

    10 Replies
    1. re: jmtreg
      Josh Feb 23, 2011 10:01 AM


      Really a big disappointment considering how good the market is. But I feel like the market is for people who know what they're looking for, and the restaurant is for people looking for red checkered tablecloths.

      1. re: Josh
        stevewag23 Feb 23, 2011 04:24 PM

        Agreed. The restaurant is ok. Similar to Fillipis.

        The pizza is kind of decent.

        The market is where it is at.

        1. re: Josh
          Fake Name Mar 2, 2011 04:08 AM

          Turbo meh. I'll not return to the restaurant.

          1. re: Fake Name
            Tripeler Mar 2, 2011 05:17 AM

            I heard they will be opening a branch in Berlin...

            1. re: Tripeler
              Fake Name Mar 2, 2011 05:46 AM

              Berlin would never tolerate them!

              1. re: Tripeler
                honkman Mar 2, 2011 10:06 AM

                "I heard they will be opening a branch in Berlin..." - No, you can only fool people in San Diego with mediocre food and still have a successful restaurant.

                1. re: honkman
                  Josh Mar 2, 2011 12:06 PM

                  It's not unique to San Diego, trust me. Go to Texas sometime.

          2. re: jmtreg
            dbwave Feb 23, 2011 10:33 AM

            What is Pastene brand tomatoes?

            1. re: dbwave
              bizzwriter Feb 23, 2011 10:45 AM


              1. re: dbwave
                jmtreg Feb 23, 2011 10:57 AM

                Its my mom's and grandmom's favorite brand, and the tomatoes taste a bit sweeter and fresher tasting than other brands. Then again, its really a matter of personal preference.

            2. Beach Chick Feb 17, 2011 02:45 PM

              Went today for a late lunch at Mona Lisa...after this post, I was craving me a torpedo sandwich and got one and I pulled the meat out and gave it to the DH...he had a meatball sandwich and enjoyed it..we walked down to Princess of Wales for a pint of Guiness..
              I looked for the ricotta at the market but I couldn't find it...

              6 Replies
              1. re: Beach Chick
                dbwave Feb 18, 2011 04:44 AM

                It is in the refridgerator to the right of the deli. It is packaged. As good as it is, it has me wondering how good the one at Venissimo might be!

                1. re: dbwave
                  Beach Chick Feb 18, 2011 07:18 AM

                  I went to the cheese case to the left of the front door entrance to find the parma and anchovies but no ricotta...next time.

                2. re: Beach Chick
                  Fake Name Feb 18, 2011 07:56 AM

                  "I was craving me a torpedo sandwich and got one and I pulled the meat out and gave it to the DH"

                  You're killin me!
                  Do you order a steak and give the meat away as well?

                  1. re: Fake Name
                    Beach Chick Feb 18, 2011 08:07 AM

                    hee hee

                  2. re: Beach Chick
                    Cathy Feb 18, 2011 08:11 AM

                    Just get the caprese next time- excellent cheese.

                    1. re: Cathy
                      tslman Mar 1, 2011 07:58 PM

                      Ah, the Caprese sandwich is so good - perfectly balanced oil, red wine vinegar, cheese, basil, bread. Mmmmmmmmm!

                  3. Beach Chick Feb 17, 2011 06:05 AM

                    Wonder if that cute 95+ year old man is still behind the counter helping out..
                    Mona Lisa is a great place and I'll have to try the ricotta, parm and the Italian Tuna..
                    Lunch at Little Italy today and stock up!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Beach Chick
                      cstr Feb 17, 2011 06:13 AM

                      secret crush?

                      1. re: cstr
                        Beach Chick Feb 17, 2011 06:26 AM

                        Big time...usually like them a little younger though!
                        ; )

                        1. re: Beach Chick
                          cstr Feb 17, 2011 07:46 AM

                          Robbing the cradle!!...cougar!!

                      2. re: Beach Chick
                        Jenkay Feb 17, 2011 07:46 AM

                        Grandpa Stefano has taken to hanging out at a table on the restaurant side the past few years. Gettin' a bit on in age to be helping out behind the counter.. Last time I saw him (about 6-7 months ago) he was looking pretty frail.

                      3. t
                        TheeAce Feb 17, 2011 01:12 AM

                        Sandwiches so good, if you like sandwiches that drip with vinegary oily goodness. Add on some artichokes. Call ahead (619-239-5367) so you dont have to wait in line. They have Molinari salami too, and some fairly priced wines.

                        Mona Lisa Deli
                        2061 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

                        1. s
                          stevewag23 Feb 16, 2011 08:08 PM

                          Yes, the Mona Lisa Deli is one of the crown jewels of san diego.

                          Pretty good wine selection as well, and can really come in handy if you need a bottle of prosecco.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: stevewag23
                            Josh Feb 16, 2011 09:04 PM

                            The dried pasta selection is very good.

                          2. cgfan Feb 16, 2011 04:54 PM

                            I like to get their octopus salad there, but the last time I went (last week), it was really disappointing. Hopefully it was a one-time thing.

                            What I like to get there are the cans of salted anchovies. (Once I tried them I can never go back to using regular anchovies, though I did find an even better canned salted anchovy when I was in Greece...) As soon as I get them home I repack them in firmly tamped layers of fresh Kosher salt and keep them in the refrigerator in a vacuumed canister for future use. (They also sell them out of an open can in their deli, but somehow I get a little antsy knowing that they're exposed to the elements for some unknown period of time...)

                            A bit of a hidden bargain at Mona Lisa is their Proscuito ends. They sell them in the refrigerated case that faces the vegetables, and are simply the end parts of the Proscuito ham when it gets too narrow to make the larger slices. Great to use in cooking or in salads where their size won't limit their use.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: cgfan
                              honkman Feb 16, 2011 07:52 PM

                              Do they also have proscuiutto bones ?

                              1. re: honkman
                                cgfan Feb 16, 2011 08:31 PM

                                They must end up with them at some point, but there's no sign of the bone left by the time they sell the proscuitto ends. My guess is that you could probably get them to set some aside for you, but that's only a guess...

                                1. re: honkman
                                  cstr Feb 17, 2011 06:12 AM

                                  They make a great soup base. One of my favs is bean and escarole.

                                2. re: cgfan
                                  Josh Feb 16, 2011 09:04 PM

                                  The salted capers are good, too.

                                  1. re: cgfan
                                    cstr Feb 17, 2011 07:50 AM

                                    Not to worry about those open cans of salted anchovies on the counter, pretty typical in Italian deli's. The salt preserves them well, same as capers and the flavor is way better than oil perserved or in capers case brine. Now white anchovies are a whole different taste, just mild and delicate.

                                  2. SDGourmand Feb 16, 2011 04:35 PM

                                    I never had Mona Lisa's ricotta but Venissimo has a freshly made one that they get in once a week.. I can never use anything else..

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