Prima
Prima

Prima

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://primahawaii.com/
  • Phone: 8088888933x
  • 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: Italian, Contemporary American, 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.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
  • Diners' Choice WinnerContemporary American
Prima reviews from OpenTable diners
45 reviews since May 26, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.3
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance3.5
    Noise LevelModerate
78% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (29)neighborhood gem (28)kid-friendly (9)great for lunch (9)hot spot (9)great for outdoor dining (7)special occasion (7)good for groups (6)late-night find (4)romantic (3)notable wine list (2)great for brunch (1)Show More
  • always good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    There was a bit of a hold up on the food, but overall I love PRIMA and what they continue to do. Great job guys, even among all the changes.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food, overpriced
    KailuaFamily
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    Food was very tasty. Pricing a bit high, though. For two average size salads and two very small appetizers (no drinks) it was over $50. Great food, but not really worth it for the price. Maybe just once in awhile for something different. Somewhat loud even though it was mostly empty that night. Just bad acoustics, I suppose.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Walked out!
    RayratVIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Started out OK. Server initially attentive. Few others in restaurant when we entered. That's where it ended. Basically ignored after that. Bussed own salad plates. Waiter walked by several times attending others and said or did nothing. Never asked how salad was. 45 minutes after entering restaurant we walked out. Server Jeremiah never apologized, just said they got busy and did we want the pizza to go. We had no taste for pizza after that.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food, but was really hot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Prima is always awesome. the food was great, the service was helpful, and a really great group of people. However, the place was so HOT! I this the air conditioning was broken, or the brick oven was really heating things up. I was okay, but my children were miserable! I would certainly go back, but only for outside dining.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great place
    dougb
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    Unique combos of ingredients for pizza and brussell sprouts were a big hit
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • we drive from Honolulu regularly
    HonoluluArch
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    We live in Honolulu but make the drive to Kailua at least twice a month just to eat here. Generally, it's on a weekday with just my wife and I, but is also great with 6-8 friends on a weekend. The V Lounge was interesting...Prima is GREAT!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Overrated place
    HungryMan
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Outdoor seating a necessity due to hot air indoors; door is kept open to allow oven heat to escape. And outdoor view of parking lot not that great either though it is in a nice neighborhood. Like most critiques, agree food is overpriced and okay but nothing special as opposed to other restaurants. Wine list sucks and beer options are limited. Servers good. Just came out of curiosity; won't be going back again. Sorry.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great dining experience
    livetoeatVIP
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    While the menu isn't huge if you don't want pizza, the specials are always good. We had two of the specials, a pork belly and then a watermelon salad. Both were great. The bruschetta was wonderful as well. Service was great. A little trellis or something on top of the fence on the sidewalk might be nice as you are kind of sitting in the parking lot outside. Great meal and great service, though.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A great place for food
    JustDoc
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    The service- not so much. Our server was kind of rude, not very knowledgeable, and acted as if he had more important things to do besides take care of us. Perhaps we should come back in a few months to see if any things changed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • An Hawaiian Gem
    CUD3VIP
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    My wife and I lived in NYC for most of our lives. We were very skeptical upon moving here concerning the restaurant scene. Prima totally opened our eyes. This restaurant creates some of the most NYC artisanal dishes found on any of our islands. The menu is two parts plus a huge chalkboard. The pizzas are to die for BUT the main dishes are what puts Prima over the top.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great pizza
    luko3787
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Enjoyed a salad of mixed greens and the white anchovy pizza. Both where very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love this place
    Jjt13
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    Although the menu is quite small, they are all quality. The pasta dishes are so good and the brick oven pizza is very authentic. As an italian american and a decent home cook, this place is on my A list of restauranta in Kailua.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing pizza!
    OceanRacer
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    Prima is a great find. The prosciutto and funghi pizzas are great. Good wine list and great special salads. We didn't order a pasta dish but they were size able and looked good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Kailua's Finest
    MikeandKris
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Prima is one of our favorite places to dine for dinner. We frequent Prima and know the staff well. They are always very friendly and take great care of us. We always get our favorite table and they greet us by name. We live in Waikele and drive out to Kailua at least 2-3 times a month to eat here.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food.
    lw484
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    The food at Prima is good but a bit pricey. It is a good place to go and wind down after work.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Favorite place to eat.
    Kaukauphile
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    The usual - Ordered a bunch of apps and finish with a pizza or two. Noticed a little lack of focus with the mushroom app, the mushroom spread on the bread was very earthy- mishandled product or process change? Also the return of the wine list could have been treated with a little more thought, the selections lacked excitement...though I suspect finding gems requires a certain level of expertise and a solid supply-chain, both of which may be too difficult for a small resto and what probably killed the wine list the last time. I was one who appreciated the original effort and hope your wine program takes on the challenge again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous!
    HawaiiKaifoodie
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • worst service ever
    HonHiHungryVIP
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    As usual, the pizza at Prima was wonderful, probably the best you can get on Oahu. However, the service on this night was absolutely terrible. We had to wait nearly 45 minutes to get our pizza and when we asked our server about the delay, we were told that the kitchen had decided to serve a family that had arrived and ordered after us "because their kids were hungry." And it got worse. From that point on every time we asked about the status of our pizzas, we got snide comments from the server, such as "Well, you were angry when you walked in," which we weren't, and "I bet they love you in all the other restaurants," which was just plain confusing. We will never go back and recommend that you avoid Prima.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Out of everything
    oahufoodie
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 26 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 26, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.4
    • Food4.4
    • Ambiance3.7
    • Service4.4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 241 reviews are from the Prima reviews archive.
  • Excellent
    Pdogg
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    Loved it here! Impeccable service, amazing food, fantastic wine. Outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pizza!
    Cjreiss
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • PRIMA!
    foodie
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A.M.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013VIP
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    really tasty italian food for pretty affordable prices.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Exception meal and experience
    Luv2eat
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pork Belly was amazing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    The food was amazing. They have left nothing out, the flavor, texture, and accents are all perfect and well thought out for each dish.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Dishonest Owner=poor service
    Sonochick
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Dinner
    MikeandKris
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • my favorite place
    foodie
    Dined on 4/27/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A Special New Spot
    tomdunes
    Dined on 4/3/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love this restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • too busy, needed another server
    Deborah
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The food was delicious and
    1010
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    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!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food!
    Michelle
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    The food is consistantly good! The food comes out a bit slow but it's always worth the wait!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Prima is no ka oi!
    LTVL
    Dined on 3/12/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food still rings true
    Kaukauphile
    Dined on 3/6/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of my favorite places!
    lbdub
    Dined on 2/27/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food
    mcbobbyVIP
    Dined on 2/22/2014
    Go for the pizza, but get lots of specials. All really wonderful!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent brickoven pizza!
    jwland99
    Dined on 2/21/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Incredible flavor sensation!
    NYgirl
    Dined on 2/20/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice Valentines Day Dinner
    Kristy
    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.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.