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  • Prima

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Prima
Prima

Prima Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://primahawaii.com/
  • Phone: (808) 888-8933
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch Mon-Sun 11:00am-2:00pm
    Dinner Mon-Sun 5:00pm-9:30pm
  • Payment Options: Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American, Italian, Pizzeria
  • Executive Chef: Lindsey Ozawa
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: Catering is available.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Hamakua Drive
  • Public Transit: The Bus has routes from Honolulu to Kailua hourly.
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Ample amount of around the clock parking.
A word from Prima
PRIMA is a modern italian/american restaurant that also featured kiawe wood fired brick oven pizzas. While using fresh local meats and produce , PRIMA"s menu consists of many different flavors that customers can experience through share plate style eating. Menu is subject to changes due to local seasonal availability of products.

PRIMA's thin crust pizzas are hand crafted & cooked in a STEFANO FERRARA oven using local kiawe wood.

The kitchen counter & bar consist of recycled mahogany & stainless steel, while the rest of PRIMA's interior features natural wood tables, comfortable Eames chairs, and recycled wood benches.
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Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerContemporary American
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "Great food, casual setting, good staff--a find! We have been here a few times and always find the food really excellent. The menu is somewhat limited but what they have is very good--pastas, pizzas. But don't be fooled--not an italian restaurant but more like a Portland Oregon cafe."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "really tasty italian food for pretty affordable prices."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "We came to celebrate a birthday....with high expectations. The waiter told us the food was going to come one dish at a time. Before we knew it, all four courses were on the table...the waiter apologized, but didn't offer any solution. Our dinner was ruined bc we were gobbling down food that all got cold. They gave us 10% off the bill. We called the manager the next day, who apologized and agreed to give us a 50% refund credit. We NEVER received the refund. So I emailed and texted him to inquire about it, and he has never answered us. It has been almost a month now. The owner/manager, Roland, had told me if they make a mistake, he believes this can be corrected so the customer is happy...I guess he lied...cannot recommend Prima now. "
    Dined on 5/4/2014
  • "Usually love Prima. Not this time. Server started out by telling us 3 things they were out of on the menu. No big deal, since we knew ahead of time. So we go ahead and order our entrees (a good mixture of pizzas and pastas) and sit around talking/waiting for our food to come out. Well about 10 minutes after ordering, the server comes out to tell us they are out of pizza dough..no pizza dough in a pizza restaurant? Our reservation was at 8:00, not 9:30 or some super late time, and they were already out of pizza dough, their main ingredient for over half the menu. Needless to say, we got up and left. Not to mention, they didn't even offer to comp the appetizers we were going to order or anything. Not very good customer service in my opinion."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "Loved it here! Impeccable service, amazing food, fantastic wine. Outstanding. "
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Go for the pizza, but get lots of specials. All really wonderful!"
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "We went for their pizza, which is the best on the island -no state! However, their grilled salad options were delicious as well as their fingerling potatoes...We will be back!"
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Excellent food and choice. Service excellent. Even limited with sidewalk space....anyway to build some type of green fence on the terrace to block car headlights/people traffic to make more private? The iron gate is permanent; build on to top of that some type of lattice? Green vines? I dont know. It just seems to OUT THERE and OPEN to the traffic."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "The food was amazing. They have left nothing out, the flavor, texture, and accents are all perfect and well thought out for each dish. "
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "We went to Prima based on a friend's recommendation -- we will now be the "friends" who emphatically recommend Prima. The food was fresh, well prepared and delicious. "
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "We eat here often, always for dinner, and we always make reservations whether on-line or by phone. The hostess and waiters know us by name. So it's always a great dining experience. Food is always excellent and the service always meets are expectations."
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "We discovered PRIMA while on vacation within months of it opening. WE LOVED IT. It was always a place we have eaten. Now I live here and always look forward to going there. We are never disappointed. The presentation, the choice, the taste....you honestly cant go wrong with anything on the menu. The food there was truly well thought!"
    Dined on 4/27/2014
  • "Don't think of this a s pizza restaurant, even though it has a world class pizza oven and makes crust that compares to the best of taly, and is to die for. Many other items on the menu change daily, and include a range from local fish (served whole) through a wonderful creative variety of dishes I can't remember are very tempting. This is a place worth eating at and supporting. I suffers a bit from being more or less a storeront located on a sidewalk just beyond the parking next to Foodland, However, this is balanced by good people watching and opportunitities to chat about the food. (By the way, as of April4, it has a liquor license, nice short wine menu and a $10 corkage fee."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "This is one of the best restaurants we've been to on any of the islands. Food is inventive and delicious. Service is great. Cool atmosphere. Will definitely be back."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "The food was delicious and very creative. The curry bolegnese was so good we ordered a second one. Our server, Jamie, was EXCELLENT. He was friendly, but not too familiar, very professional, and really knew the menu well. A perfect server!! Rare to get in Hawaii. Constructive comments -- it was very noisy, could just be that the restaurant was busy and it is small. The pizza oven certainly was putting out some very tasty pizza but it was also smoky and our crust was burnt. You need to get a key to use the restroom which is outside, not my favorite feature. I would most definitely recommend this restaurant and look forward to coming back. A gem!!"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "My dinner came out at least a half hour before my companion's pizza. The food was good-- as it had been on our first visit months before. Not sure I will go back, probably will since the food is better than most Kailua restaurants. But dining was not pleasant with the stress on the wait staff and the back up in the kitchen."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "The food is consistantly good! The food comes out a bit slow but it's always worth the wait!"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Local Kailuans either LoVe it or HaTe it..but there is no denying- Prima hits it on the head..the pizzas are amazing! I have to admit I have never had anything else on the menu besides the salad and panini. The sauce is made with San Marzano tomatoes and the secret is the crust! For $16-21 a pie..it's like eating pizza in Italy. The service is okay depends on what server you get but reservations are a must ..this place was happening!! BYOB for a corkage fee..they just got their liquor license back:) Go, enjoy!"
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "Although I am still mourning the loss of the wine list, the food still exhibits a spectrum ranging from rustic to finessed. The service was friendly (though a little un-enlightened) but understandable on a week night...save the good staff for Friday and Saturday. Finally ordered off of the specials board and enjoyed the sweet sour (aigre-douce - don't recall the Italian word) pork belly and the french toast dusted with frozen Foie -Gras. The pizzas and salads are still solid mainstays. One of my all time top places to eat."
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "I love dinning at Prima because they're always expanding my view on food. They challenge my palate with different flavor and texture combinations, making me a more well-rounded diner one meal at a time."
    Dined on 2/27/2014
  • "It has been a while since we visited Prima. Surprised to find out that they no longer sell alcohol. Easy to overcome with the BYOB option and wine store & Foodland next door. The brick oven pizza is the closest to authentic Italian that I've found in Hawaii."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "Every item we have chosen over our past two visits were exceptional. It's not often you find a taste/flavor that is new and sensational. Staff extremely friendly and attentive!"
    Dined on 2/20/2014
  • "Very limited menu with an ecclectic touch. Unless you like a gourmet flair then this isnt the place for you. Pizza we had was good as well as the spaghetti. The type of bacon meat they used was very flavorable. Would we go back? Probably not - not quite my husbands cup of tea. I would like to note that the place is a little cramped so maybe sit outside."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Great dinner for Valentines Day. We come here a lot.. We only wish they had a consistent protein on the menu like a filet. I usually call ahead and ask about the specials because the main menu is basically Pizza, spaghetti, salad and small appetizers."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Prima has created innovative, chic, and delicious food that any gourmand would do nothing but drool over. Fabulous as always."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Innovative menu with incredible special dishes, also outstanding pizza. Fun place to share your order. You bring your own wine which is even better, great wine and great food!"
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "The food here is always creative as well as delicious. We love the bread and pizzas, but the specials are worth trying."
    Dined on 1/16/2014
  • "Would definitely go back but heads up- the restaurant is very hot from the pizza ovens."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "We had an great experience at Prima. The service was excellent and the food was delicious. We brought our own bottle of wine and they opened the wine for us and brought us glasses free of charge! No corking fee or glass fee. We will definitely be going back to Prima."
    Dined on 12/20/2013
  • "Prima was cute. Limited seating indoors and out, short menu, and small portions. The food was good but not refined, despite being quite pricy even for the neighborhood. BYOB, which we skipped."
    Dined on 12/19/2013
  • "The best and the worst part of this place is they have a rotating seasonal menu. There are already so many foods that I love but I can't wait to go back and try the new things. Inside was a little too hot to be comfortable with the oven and all but fortunately there are a few outside seats too."
    Dined on 12/8/2013
  • "If you like small plates, family style, beautifully prepared food, including real Italian pizza baked in a Napoli oven ... Prima is for you!"
    Dined on 12/3/2013
  • "I had long wanted to dine here, and it lived up to its hype!"
    Dined on 11/2/2013
  • "It was a pleasantly surprise to see that it was still Restaurant Week, and Prima had a 4-course dinner. I loved their selections, so my friend and I decided to get one of each, so we could try 7 different offerings instead of just 4. The air-conditioning was not working, so the 900+ degree pizza oven was very noticeable. So this hot blooded woman was sweating. Then we noticed that it was BYOB, an indication that they did not have their liquor license. Which is great for the customer, but not so good for them. Every course was well thought of and creativity at a very high level. Loved everything and loved every bite. Prima is still a wonderful destination restaurant. You will not be disappointed."
    Dined on 11/23/2013
  • "We try peanut on the advice of some good foodie friends and local chefs. Every dish was awesome and we spied plates on our neighbors tables that we wanted to try too. BYOB is also always great."
    Dined on 11/23/2013
  • "Have not dined there in quite sometime (see last visit's comment). Basically has turned into an upscale pizza place with several side dishes, which are still very good. And, unfortunately, the restaurant has lost it's liquor license!! So, it's BYOB (no corkage fee). A pizza place without beer....!?"
    Dined on 11/21/2013
  • "Service was outstanding, but the food really fell short. The pizza was average, and everything else I tried was just disappointing."
    Dined on 11/21/2013
  • "As a young couple, we chose Prima to be our splurge for Restaurant Week and were pleased they are BYOB. We made a date of it (even tho it was Monday night) and we did get a few strange looks for our attire. As it was our first visit, we were mildly surprised by the location in a strip mall. It is Hawaii though! Even though it is a foodie place, there were many kids and lots of casual eaters. Maybe this is not the case on the weekend? Either way, we really enjoyed the menu (except for the sausage seafood cavatappi), the waiters were friendly and just the right amount of attentive, and it turned out to be a lovely evening. We will be back again, but perhaps not for a fancy date night!"
    Dined on 11/18/2013
  • "Overpriced, soggy crusted pizza. No other vegetarian options"
    Dined on 11/18/2013
  • "We've been to this restaurant several times but not too recently. However, the Restaurant Week menu looked too good to pass up. $45 for an interesting 5-course meal, on par with the Beach House's price for a 3-course meal or Chef Chai's price for a 5-course meal (both of which include regularly higher-priced entree choices). What Prima fails to tell you on their printed Restaurant Week menu or when you come in is that they obviously consider this a "TASTING menu". 1st course=amuse bouche size. 2nd course=crescent moon on plate. 3rd & 4th can fit in a ramekin. Dessert is plum-sized. And it took 2 hours. After which you grab a pizza bc you still haven't had dinner, and your wallet is over $100 lighter. FAIL. Enjoy Restaurant Week elsewhere."
    Dined on 11/18/2013