3215 Encinal Ave. (Unit A)
Drop into this perky cafe, which doubles as a caterer, for ambitious sandwiches, salads and desserts. "Mona" is Mona Personium, chef, owner and Alameda mom whose restaurant motto is "Life should be delicious." Mona's gets kudos for variety that goes way beyond traditional deli sandwiches and run-of-the-mill potato salad, and Personium mixes things up with aspiring specials. We sampled the Asian hoisin pork sandwich, a generous mass of sweet meat and savory coleslaw; the Asian chicken noodle salad, a tad unbalanced and lacking its roasted chicken; and a manly sounding panini, a grilled sandwich of salami, black forest ham, roasted turkey, provolone and pesto aioli, that's more of a delicate affair. Dessert changes daily, and pickup dinners are available. If food with flair in a comfortable setting tantalizes your taste buds, Mona's is an option worth consideration and a nice addition to Encinal. Lunch Mon.-Sat., brunch Sat.
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