Not much to look at, either inside or out, the Mona Lisa is hidden away at the ‘wrong’ end of the King’s Road, just beyond World’s End. But the bonhomie is infectious, and if you order the right thing, such as the meltingly tender calves’ liver alla salvia (with butter and sage), served with old-school potatoes and veg, you won’t care about the homely decor.
Not everything is up to this standard: the glass cabinet holding puddings and gateaux produced a rather folorn banoffee pie. A basic fried banana with ice-cream was a more pleasing dessert. The menu ranges across breakfasts, sandwiches, burgers, omelettes, jacket potatoes and pastas to three-course blow-outs (at lunch, the latter is just £8.95). Customers are a mixed bag – all types, all ages, lone diners (always well looked after), couples and groups, tended to by eager Italian staff. An unpretentious breath of fresh air amid the Chelsea tractor fumes.