Restaurant Summary by Allan Borgen:
The Original Mona Lisa Italian Restaurant located in Redlands off W. Colton Ave is a unique Italian restaurant. For starters, they have a drive-thru and all of their food is made fresh daily and at prices everyone can afford. There is nothing fancy here, just some great sandwiches, salads and pasta dishes. Sorry no Pizzas are served here!
Mona Lisa Italian Restaurant offers daily specials with my favorites being the fantastic Pasta with Eggplant Marinara available on Thursdays while on Fridays, some of the richest and best creamy Fettuccine Alfredo is featured.
All items are made to order so you can count on the food being piping hot and fresh when it arrives. Another important thing to know is that once you order and pay for the food at the front counter, the food comes to you in round aluminum pans, with plastic utensils. At first I wanted real plates and real metal forks. However, considering the low prices and the good quality of the food, I would rather have it served this way and save some money.
Now, to the meal! From the sandwich side of the menu came the 10-inch Italian Sub, $5.95, and the special 6-inch Hot Meatball Sub, $4.50. The Italian Sub consisted of a warm crusty Italian roll filled with salami, turkey ham, homemade Italian dressing with oregano, garlic, basil and wine, lettuce, tomatoes, provolone cheese and pickles, while the Hot Meatball Sub featured sliced meatballs, marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. It should be noted that when ordering a sub or pasta dish, you can order the items with marinara or meat sauce.
Next came the Lasagna, $6.50, and the Baked Mostaccioli, $7.50. The lasagna featured two layers of lasagna pasta layered with a delicious ricotta and mozzarella seasoned mixture and lots of meat sauce. It was then topped with mozzarella cheese and baked until the cheese was nice and bubbly. I really enjoyed the ample portions of the ricotta mozzarella cheese mixture and the entire dish. It may not look all that large but it sure is filling. You also get two pieces of warm toasty garlic bread with all of the pasta dishes and salads. The Baked Mostaccioli consisted of a large portion of pasta with lots of sauce and mozzarella cheese. Simple, yet oh so good!
The classic Eggplant Parmesan, $6.95, and Antipasto Salad, $5.50, rounded out my meal. Imagine lightly breaded and fried eggplant topped with your choice of marina or meat sauce, topped with lots of mozzarella cheese and baked until perfect. The eggplant was not bitter like Italian eggplant can sometimes be and was a hit with my family as well as with me. The Antipasto Salad consisted of sliced provolone cheese, salami and turkey ham, served on a bed of lettuce with tomatoes, peppercinis and your choice of dressings. I suggest the homemade Italian dressing!
Although not fancy, I enjoy dining at the Original Mona Lisa very much and feel that you and your family will enjoy it, too. Owner Ed Moursi is a friendly man who appreciates his customers and takes pride in his preparation of each item.