Island Lava Java Bistro

4.3
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789 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Great Kona Restaurant specializing in fresh, local, organic and sustainable food with 100% Kona Coffee and our own Bakery on site. Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner & Sunday brunch, we are committed to using the highest quality locally produced ingredients. You will feel relaxed while you enjoy our food and drinks in a casual and comfortable outside, Oceanside lanai. Experience our inventive cuisine, attentive service, and a friendly atmosphere; come see what makes us one of the most popular restaurants, bar and coffee houses in town. We look forward to meeting you!
Full Bar, Great Wine list
What 789 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.1
food
4.3
service
4.5
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
80% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall1food1service1ambience1

With reservations waited 10 min to be seated then were seated in open air when raining. After asking to be moved to a dry table, no server appeared and we left after waiting 20 minutes. Totally unimpressed.

j
Seattle
10 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good food, service and view. Always a great meal.

OT
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great cinnamon bun, road construction ...was too noisy

OT
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall2food1service4ambience5

I’ve eaten there for breakfast and lunch. The biggest draw for me is that it’s right on the water. I love the view and that it’s open air. The staff are very friendly and overall good. I prefer and think the breakfast is the best service. My primary disappointment with lunch was the food quality. I thought the taste and appearance was very poor. I had the fresh catch miso dish which was overly sweet and the presentation was sloppy and unappetizing. It was three small pieces on white rice with cole slaw surrounding it. I ended up trading it with my other family member. The batter in the calamari appetizer was burnt and too much. The bread on chicken sandwich was too much so most of it was bread. Again lunch dishes were poor quality. I will go back only for breakfast.

MM
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We come back ever year - reliable great food. Looking forward to trying dinner.

k
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great view - especially for sunset. Excellent Mai Tai’s. Had the pork ribs recommended by a friend and they were falling off the bone delicious. My husband had the lobster man and cheese - which I thought was a tad under seasoned. Both entrees were huge portions!

PR
New England
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience3

Nothing great, just ok. Better choices elsewhere. Waitress not very friendly or attentive.

SR
Hawaii
11 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

The setting is great with tremendous ocean views.
Delightful staff and service.
Fresh catch was good but not as good as some other equally ranked establishments .
Breakfasts really set this venue apart from the rest.

OT
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food3service5ambience3

Server Mary is amazingly helpful and friendly. Beverages are good. View is lovely.

JJ
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

When we come to Kailua-Kona every year, we always make time for a meal here. The Fish Eggs Benedict is fabulous it’s usually fresh Ahi or Mahi Mahi. Then you have the view of the ocean.

We’ve been going for the last 6 years. They were so popular they moved into a bigger building 2 doors down, and went through an adjustment period where the service but I think that they’ve turned the corner.

I would highly recommend it.

LI
San Francisco
85 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience5

We sat at the bar because it was totally empty thinking we would get better/faster service from the bartender. Not the case. She was too busy restocking the bar and talking to other employees. When I received my cheeseburger it was cold. My husband was ok with his fish sandwich, so I let it go and besides, the bartender didn't bother asking us if everything was ok until we were half way through the meal. My husbsnd also had the beef chili as his side...not much beef or beens, just a lot of tomatoes. Disappointing... definitely not cheap.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Last night on the Big Island. Dinner reservation for 6:00.


We arrived at 6:00 and our table for a party of 6 was ready and reserved for us. We had a nice ocean view and watched the sun set as we enjoyed our drinks and appetizers. It was quite busy but the service was quick and attentive. The food was cooked to our specifications and quite delightful. The BBQ ribs were very good. Try the expresso cheese cake, you won’t be disappointed.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Best food we had on our trip, even in Waimea and Waikoloa. Try the poke and ribs. Pass on the calamari (it's good but nothing special). Even the veggie pizza was out of this world.

JH
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Went for breakfast but were informed it's over at 11:00 on Saturday and until three on Sunday. We stayed and had lunce which was satisfying but I think breakfast is their thing.

OT
Anchorage
6 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great location with an amazing view. We love their happy hour as it has great food choices in addition to good drink specials. The service is always great. A must stop when visiting or for locals.

GC
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, great location, wonderful service and really nice live Hawaiian music!!

DS
Hawaii
36 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is a wonderful place for lunch & dinner. Great view, great support, greta food.

DG
Sacramento
10 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience4

I know most of my meals when I am in Kailua-Kona will be on the expensive side. It is a resort town, I know there is an up-charge from that and being on an island will add a little extra as well since there are shipping costs for some of the items. However, I was disappointed with our meal at Island Lava Java. The food was okay, we had a catch of the day fish and chips and a salad with shrimp as entrees. Appetizer wise we did the baked brie and calamari.

The food wasn't anything special. The fish was a little dry and the calamari wasn't really crunchy at all. The salad had a dressing that left a lot to be desired but the brie dish was pretty good. However, we got a seat with a great view of the sunset and then the entrees and appetizers came out at about the exact same time with left our table full of food that was bound to get cold by the time we were going to eat it and it was hard to sit and enjoy the sunset when we felt like we were being rushed.

The drinks we got were good and the bartender makes a fine cocktail but that may be the only desire I have to go back to at the restaurant. Sadly, I had my choice between a few different options there and I may have chose wrong for that dinner. Our server that night was struggling not only with the orders for food but also those drinks as he forgot to place the order for them once.

In the end, you have a ton of options in Kailua-Kona for meals and while the view is pretty great, there are definitely places to give you a great bang for your buck in the food front.

d
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful view, service, food and overall a great experience. I highly recommend Lava Java

KP
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience5

Of 3 breakfast orders, one was brought with sausage instead of ham. The $12 cocktails (bloody mary and a hibiscus-lemonade) were not very good. (Candied bacon and black-tinted salt on the former were weird.) Excellent views. Eggs and pancakes were ok.

DS
Hawaii
36 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is our go-to spot for lunch, happy hour & dinner. Wonderful place. Incredible view. Excellent staff.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Lovely meal, good service, not the best table but we did book late. Overall very nice and enjoyable.

V
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall3food2service5ambience3

Ahi Lava Java salad was wonderful. Fish and chips were horrible. They refunded the money for them. The service was good. Upstairs the view was good and noise level ow.

DS
Hawaii
36 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food. Great service. Great view. What more could one want.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Superb all around!

OT
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service is always great. Being able to sit and watch (and listen) to the ocean waves while eating is fantastic. I’m part of a flight crew and we eat at different places all the time; Lava Java is consistently great with both food and service.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience3

Slow service. Food was not that great. My fish tacos were dry and over cooked. My cocktail came right away but my husband’s beer took a while. After we finished, a long wait for the bill.

S
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

I was expecting more from a Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives recommendation. The grilled octopus appetizer was fine, but not anything special. I guess nothing will top the grilled octopus at Kyma in Atlanta, odd as that may sound. I enjoyed my Seaside Shrimp pizza with macadamia nut pesto, but my family was not overly impressed with their fish tacos & beet salad. Normally, a beet salad is a salad of beets. This was mostly mixed greens with a few beets on top. The fish tacos were mostly toppings and not a lot of fish. It was fine. Nothing tasted bad, but it wasn't as good as our other meals on the Big Island or Maui.

s
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall3food2service5ambience4

The location, service and drinks were all good. Our server was friendly, accommodating and efficient. However, the food was completely unseasoned. The fish tacos and the side of black beans were dry and completely unseasoned. The mango salsa that came with them was pretty good, though. However, the dish would have been better either blackened or seasoned with any of the wonderful local spices/marinades. My daughter did like the black bean tacos.

TT
Orange County
14 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great breakfast! We sat upstairs and had a beautiful view of the ocean. Delicious food and friendly server. Would definitely visit again.

DS
Hawaii
36 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always great food at great prices with a magnificent view.

JK
Palm Springs
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience4

We made reservations for our 50th anniversary dinner. They were aware of that prior. We arrived. The greeter and the guy who seated us were fine. The waitress was unfriendly and aloof. There were many open tables. We made early reservations at 5:30 because of plans later. We asked if ono was available and were told about 3 things on the menu that was ono. We ordered cocktails. When it was time to order our dinner we ordered the ono and she told us they had run out of the ono - at 5:30 when dinner service had barely started. We were disappointed and said we needed to look at the menu. She turned and walked away. We decided on an alternative choice. She never came back to take our order. We finished our cocktails and waited further. We finally laid our credit card on the table. She then came, grabbed credit card and brought back the bill. We left without eating. Happy Anniversary!

VM
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic breakfast and location to see the ocean and get a nice breeze! Open on Christmas Day! Live music was a nice touch.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday/Christmas Eve dinner with friends

LC
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

After reading so many positive open table reviews we were shocked at the absolutely zero quality of this establishment. Our hostess was lovely and our server was friendly and talkative but this was one of the downsides of our experience. It took over 15 minutes to be greeted, another 15 to 20 minutes for water and wine and then the biggest disappointment... the food. Our tacos were dry and Taco Bell would have been better and cheaper than the $14 charge. Fish was overcooked and thin. Inefficiency would be the word. The food was cheap, dry and ugly. 100% don’t waste your time.

SC
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall3food1service3ambience2

This was one of my favorite places as I've been here many times before and was excited to take family visiting from another island. The staff was really nice and accommodating despite the fact they had run out of and were not able to provide us with kids menus. The calamari tasted OLD, the blackened Bree was overly blackened and the ono tacos lacked any flavor. I was disappointed, but hopefully it was just a one time thing. It'll be a little bit before I go back.

T
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

They now have 2 locations, the original, in Kailua-Kona and Waikoloa Village. We went to the Kailua-Kona spot. Food was very good. Server very friendly. View was terrific. Plenty of free parking at their adjacent lot, which makes going there so convenient. And, they seem to go out of their way to honor reservations made though Opentable. We were told by staff they are open every day of the year, which makes it a go to place for holidays like Christmas day and New Year's day, when many restaurants are closed.

DS
Hawaii
36 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We eat here a lot. We managed to see a Christmas parade & had wonderful things to eat. We got there for a 3:15 reservation but wanted to sit upstairs which opened at 3:30. Not a problem. WE waited, got a great table 7 munched on ribs, wings, pizza & a burger with avocado, bacon & cheese. What a treat.

DS
Hawaii
36 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always an excellent meal with an unbeatable view

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good food and ambiance and service