If you're looking for the Little Italy of yore—the crusty berg that helped fuel San Diego's prominence as a regional center for the harvesting of tuna and sardines—you may have a bit of a journey ahead. Wholesale freeway expansion and cyclical economies were no match for this place; when push came to shove, Little Italy dusted itself off and transformed itself into one of the city's hottest neighborhoods. Block after block of cool properties and hoppin' businesses overlook quaint, profuse alleyways, all of which are 4.3 seconds from the local urban landscape and transportation centers.
That's sort of where Mimmo's Italian Village comes in. Snappy Mediterranean interiors, wrought iron-lined patios and gondola-based murals are de rigueur here, maybe as a monument to the neighborhood's days gone by (or at least how they went by in the Old Country). The neatest thing is that you get to enjoy those reflections over some of the best cheap grub in the city. The Sopresatta Friuli sandwich ($6.99) is stacked with wine-cured Italian sausage, perfect against the lettuce and tomato below it. There's a terrific baked eggplant for $8.50. Wines, calzones, pizzas and salads are top of the line here, too—and you're welcome to wash it all down with an amber ale called Fat Tire, just what you need for that spare you're working on.
Mimmo's also does catering and banquets; you're welcome to call 619-239-3710 for the skinny, or you can just drop in at 1743 India St. The deli/lunch hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Sundays; dinner is served from 5 to 9 p.m. every day. Little Italy may have changed, but Mimmo's wants it to remember where it came from.