Restaurant Review: Mr. Moto Pizza

by on September 13, 2021 · 10 comments

in Ocean Beach

Restaurant Review

Mr. Moto Pizza
1929 Cable St.
Ocean Beach, CA 92107
(619) 981-9777

By Judi Curry

Every now and then a coupon comes in the mail that is worthy of trying at the establishment sending it.  The funny thing is that the coupon did not come to me – it came to my friend Steve – who lives on Santa Cruz only 6 blocks away.  It was for $10 off one of their pizza’s. I didn’t get one!

Since Steve’s favorite food is Pizza, and since there were three of us for dinner we decided to look at the menu and order a pizza, a tiramisu and a Cannoli to help with a celebration we were experiencing. My student from Japan, Mizsuho, likes Pizza also so it was a perfect solution.

Pizza is an interesting food.  Some people really like thin crusts; some people really like thick crusts; some really like stuffed crusts, etc. Mr. Moto is known for their thin crusts, and we knew this at the time we placed our order.

Some people are very possessive about their pizzas and get very upset if they are criticized at all.  I know that this review will upset some, and I want to say at the beginning that what I am writing is the result of three people eating a meal together.

There are many different items on the menu, from beverages to salads, to pizzas, (including gluten free), to pastas, to desserts, etc. Since we usually order the full combination pizza at other establishments, Steve decided to order the Mr. Moto Pie, which was listed as having Italian sausage, Spanish Chorizo, Fresh Mozzarella Pearl and Marinara Dots on their Garlic Pasta Base. It was listed on line as $26.00. The Tiramisu and the Cannoli were both listed at $6 each.

There were several funky things about this order that had nothing to do with the taste, but worthy of mentioning.  When Steve got to my house and handed me the receipt, I noticed that it was made out to “Steve Curry”.  After we stopped laughing at that, we wondered how in the world they got my last name for Steve, because that is not his last name and he gave them his name when he ordered. He also placed the order from his phone – not mine.  It is a mystery to us.  Maybe they thought he was the famous basketball player, Steph Curry.

So let’s talk about the pizza.  I like a thin crust, but I also like a tasty pizza.  I could not find anything tasty about this pizza.  The tiny dabs of mozzarella were almost non-existent. We had barely 10 tiny little squares of chorizo on the entire pizza, and if you only had one piece, like I did, it was possible that you wouldn’t have any at all.  The blobs of marinara sauce were visible, but practically tasteless.

Every piece of pizza had the sausage on it, but it was hard and average, at best.  When Mizsuho was offered a second piece she turned it down, stating simply that she didn’t like it because there was no taste.  Steve, on the other hand  can eat an entire large pizza by himself, only had 3 pieces because “it is just mediocre.”  (He had two pieces the next day and stated basically the same thing – it just wasn’t very good.)

There is no question in our minds that we will not be returning to Mr. Moto even if they offered a $20 discount.  There are so many pizza places in Ocean Beach that are so much better than this one – Rosario’s, Leucadia Pizza, Pizza Port, Poma’s, for example, all at a more reasonable price and with better taste.

For us, a “C” grade is stretching it, but the Tiramisu and Cannoli were reasonably good and elevates the total grade.  And I realize that there is quite a following of Mr. Moto – it is just not to my expectations of a great pizza – nor even a particularly good one.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Reading September 13, 2021 at 10:09 am

Place is generally great. That OB coupon for $10 off a whole pizza they mailed was a great deal too!


Sam September 13, 2021 at 10:44 am

I disagree with your analysis of the food. Mr. Moto has the best pizza in OB! I just think you ordered the wrong thing. You mentioned that the pizza description on the menu read “Fresh Mozzarella Pearl and Marinara Dots.” What did you expect other than little pearls of mozzarella and dots of sauce?


Judi Curry September 13, 2021 at 12:02 pm

I expected the marinara dots to have flavor; I expected the mozzarella pearls to at least be large enough to taste them.


Debbi September 13, 2021 at 11:04 am

Why do people buy a franchise to make pizzas?

Cannot speak for the quality here because Pizza Port is my choice when it comes to pizza.


Chris September 13, 2021 at 2:29 pm

Mr. Moto is interesting in that one store to another can be very different. The North Park location I really like but I tried the PB a couple times and not so much. Quality can really vary one store to the other.


Douglas Blackwood September 14, 2021 at 11:57 am

Stick with Locals: Poma’s, Venetian, in OB. Bronx (NY) on Washington St: my fave! Forget get the chains; mediocre at best!


Chris September 14, 2021 at 12:55 pm

Too bad Pizzeria Brunos’s in Univ Heights on Park wasn’t able to survived the pandemic (closed early in the month). They were my favorite for SD.


Chris September 14, 2021 at 3:26 pm

Also keep in mind Mr. Moto started in PB. As you are aware, it was founded by San Diego local Gibron Fernandez who used at Pizza On Pearl on LJ owned by his uncle, to it’s not exactly a chain in the same sense as Pizza Hut, Domino’s etc. It did start off as a local eatery and due to it’s success he decided to expand. I think the one in North Park is pretty good.


kh September 14, 2021 at 12:13 pm

For the price, Motos is a disappointment. It’ll take some coaxing to get me to try it a 3rd time. I’ll stick to Pizza Port or Pomas. Luigis also just opened up in Bravos old location and has pizza by the slice!

I do miss Newport Pizza though.


Bearded OBcean September 15, 2021 at 10:52 am

I agree about Newport Pizza. Place was terrific. Motos in Point Loma is consistently good. As for Luigi’s, went in there to grab some slices for lunch recently, and the pizzas in the display case were covered with flies. No bueno. Left without ordering.


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