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Mona Lisa Deli

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?

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

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  1. 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..

    1. 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

        Do they also have proscuiutto bones ?

        1. re: honkman

          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

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

          2. re: cgfan

            The salted capers are good, too.

            1. re: cgfan

              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. 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

                The dried pasta selection is very good.

              2. 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.

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

                1. 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: cstr

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

                    2. re: Beach Chick

                      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.