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Nearby points of interest

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About Island Lava Java Bistro

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

75-5801 Ali'i Dr.
Kailua, HI 96740
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Contemporary American, Fusion / Eclectic

Hours of Operation:
Breakfast: Monday - Saturday: 6:30am - 11:30am; Sunday Brunch: 6:30am - 5:00pm; Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 5:00pm; Dinner: Nightly: 5:00pm - 9:30pm

Cross Street:
Palani

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(808) 327-2161

Website:
http://www.islandlavajava.com/

Entertainment:
Live Hawaiian & acoustic music, mornings, weekends & evenings

Catering:
Delicious hot or cold options. Order from one of our menus or work with our chef to create a catering event specific to your taste!

Parking Details:
Free parking for our customers in the Coconut Grove Marketplace

Public Transit:
Public bus stop 300 yards away.

Executive Chef:
Jason Nigro and Trevor Buffington

Additional:
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Liquor, BYO Wine, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Island Lava Java Bistro Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.1

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.2

service

4.2

ambience

4.3

value

3.9

Noise

Moderate

87% would recommend it to a friend

Scenic View (20)
Great for Outdoor Dining (18)
Waterfront (18)
See All
Local Ingredients (13)
Casual (13)
Great for Lunch (11)
People Watching (10)
Afternoon Coffee (9)
Live Music (7)
Romantic (7)
Sunday Lunch (7)
Kid-friendly (7)
Healthy (6)
Creative Cuisine (6)
Good for Birthdays (5)
Good for a Date (5)
Neighborhood Gem (5)
Special Occasion (5)
Worth the Drive (5)
Good for Anniversaries (4)
Comfort Food (4)
Great Beer (4)
Happy Hour (4)
Good Vegetarian Options (4)
Bar Seating (3)
Gluten Free Options (3)
Quiet Conversation (3)
Fun (3)
Great for Brunch (2)
Fit for Foodies (2)
Handcrafted Cocktails (2)
Hot Spot (2)
Vegan (2)
Authentic (1)
Good for Groups (1)
Notable Wine List (1)
Organic (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Seasonal (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
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531 reviews
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 (Portland)·Dined 3 days ago

I was warned by several friends not to go out to dinner on Valentines Day. They said the food prices would be high, the service would be very slow and long waits. None of that was true at Island Lava Java. Prices were the same as always. We were taken immediately to our table upon arriving (We had reservations). Our service was not slow as our waitress was hopping keeping all her tables happy. The most important thing was we all had great meals!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined 4 days ago

Music was loud- so hard for conversation. It was also a weird mix of styles and artists. We asked if it could be turned down. It wasn’t discernible that they did. Food was fine.

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food3
ambience2
service3
value3

 
 (Detroit)·Dined 5 days ago

We have had breakfast there for many years and have always loved the food and view. We enjoyed the new location so much we had breakfast and dinner there during our yearly visit to Kona.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Live Music, Sunday Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined 6 days ago

Best beach bar on the Big Island!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Seattle)·Dined 7 days ago

Alas, Lava Java has lost its charm with the new location. On 2nd level for dinner, the music (guitar & singer) was too loud, the lights too bright, and the service understaffed. Meal quality has diminished (used L J for 2 breakfasts and a dinner on this visit). Suggest action be taken to improve service, food and ambience, or the recent change will be the downfall that so many restaurants suffer when they enlarge. Would hate to see this happen to one of our favorites during our annual trip to Hawaii Island.

Tags: Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience2
service2
value3

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on February 9, 2018

Food was good, but nothing special. Service was excellent and the setting was lovely. It is across the street from the ocean. If you sit upstairs you won’t notice the traffic.

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food3
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on February 4, 2018

Don’t order the house made lemonade - $5 per glass. Watered down and very bitter lemons. Server didn’t do anything to adjust the bill. Lots of snafus and re-requests to server.

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food3
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on February 4, 2018

We have eaten here many meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner. This particular meal was breakfast at their newish location, very close to where they were before but much improved in space and layout (although we liked the funky sidewalk dining before).
My S.O. was disappointed in his breakfast which included a waffle. First he had to wait to get coconut syrup, then found out the waffle was overdone and tough. Unfortunately, it was difficult to get a server to respond to us each time. My meal was satisfying with the exception that the toast for the open-faced sandwich was burned at the edges. Our server apologized at the end and thanked us for our patience since she said she got busy. However, even at that, it would have been helpful had she checked back with us at some point during the meal. This one incident won't discourage us from dining here again. Great al fresco place right across from the bay.

Tags: Afternoon Coffee, Live Music, People Watching, Great Beer, Great for Outdoor Dining, Scenic View
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food2
ambience4
service2
value3

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on February 3, 2018

We have eaten there repeatedly in the last week. HPpy hou is fun. Dinner items geat- Ahi salad niciose was terrific, as was Mac cruted Mahi.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Healthy, Romantic, Great for Outdoor Dining, Casual, Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine, Worth the Drive, Fun, Quick Bite, Fit for Foodies, Sunday Lunch, Quiet Conversation, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Live Music, Bar Seating, Happy Hour, Good for Anniversaries, Waterfront, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on January 31, 2018

Great location and the food was excellent but small portions for the price.

Tags: Bar Seating, Special Occasion, People Watching, Local Ingredients, Scenic View, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Good for a Date, Waterfront, Great for Outdoor Dining, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 28, 2018

Always loved Lava Java and now with their new expanded options! More opportunities to visit. Wonderful service and great music for dining to!

Tags: Scenic View, Romantic, Great Beer, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 28, 2018

Our server, Rebecca was wonderful. She made us felt like we were dining in a good Hawaiian friend’s house with her extra attention and kindness. The food was delecious and the view outstanding, especially during sunset. We will be back again and again!

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Romantic, Waterfront, Vegan, Afternoon Coffee, Good Vegetarian Options, Great for Outdoor Dining, Sunday Lunch, Worth the Drive, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on January 27, 2018

Everything was great except the waitress forgot us at dessert time and by the time she reappeared we had decided to forego dessert. Food was excellent (catch of the day was Ono and nicely prepared). Can’t beat the location - right on Ali’i Drive with the waves rolling in directly across the street. Sunsets are spectacular from this place.

Tags: Waterfront, Worth the Drive, Great for Brunch, Good for Anniversaries, Scenic View
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food5
ambience5
service3
value4

vip
 (Columbus)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Our server Lexi was great..very personable. We have always gone here for breakfast but never dinner. All dishes are uniquely prepared. Shrimp appetizer was poached with Meyer lemon. Would definitely go back!

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on January 24, 2018

After making a reservation we arrived at the front but no table was prepared for us. In fact I don’t think they usually give reservations any preference to walk-ins. As there was only a table in the back , we opted for the bar. We sat down, were greeted by 2 different bartenders and given menus. After that we were never acknowledged or approached and asked for drinks etc. after 15 minutes of waiting to order a drink at least, we left as we also wanted to eat a bite and were upset and hungry. The bartenders were about 10 feet away from us the entire time but never came back to offer service. We’ve been there before and service is always on the slow side .

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food3
ambience1
service1
value3

 
 (Portland)·Dined on January 23, 2018

Beautiful open-air setting overlooking the Kona/Kailua waterfront. Service was friendly and solicitous, food served promptly and prices (happy hour) were great. I had fish tacos, which were nicely cooked and fresh but could have used a bit more spice or a better aioli maybe. Tried a friend’s pizza and thought “wow—this is outstanding!” Even better, the red wine I ordered had a slight chill to it, which is exactly the right way to serve it but almost never done in a bar or open area in warm weather except in the best restaurants. This place is fully deserving of the great reputation it has on trip advisor or open table or yelp (don’t remember which site I used). I gave 5 stars for everything except food, and would have given 4.7 for food (instead of 4) if the survey had allowed that. Great place!

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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on January 20, 2018

Always fantastic, great food, friendly staff. Well worth the price.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Great for Outdoor Dining, Kid-friendly, Scenic View, Waterfront
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 20, 2018

Great food and service. Very accommodating for my vegan dining partner.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 19, 2018

Food was A+++ but the service lacked.... well, service. Drinks (draft cider and specialty cocktail) took forever: we received 1 serving during the 90 minute dinner, wasn’t worth waiting nor did waitress encourage.

Waitress seemed new and was very nice, polite, and smiled a lot... however, the meal dragged and we noticed several tables come and go around us.

We were very pleased to see the massive growth of Island Lava Java since our last visit, unfortunately it seems they may still be adjusting to the expansion.

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food5
ambience5
service2
value3

vip
 (Phoenix)·Dined on January 15, 2018

Great restaurant, food, and service. Only complaint is being seated as far back from ocean view as humanly possible. Restaurant was not terribly busy.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Phoenix)·Dined on January 15, 2018

Awesome! Great new location.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on January 13, 2018

Island Lava Java is a great place to have a reasonably priced bacon cheese burger for lunch and watch the waves crashing into the coast right on the other side of Alii Drive.

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 8, 2018

this was disappointing. the restaurant was recommended by a high end hotel. not consistent with the quality of the hotel.

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food1
ambience3
service3
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 5, 2018

Great place and a new location. I like their old menu with the Loco Moco better though. Great to have more space and parking.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Sunday Lunch
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 4, 2018

Absolutely loved this restaurant, could not recommend it any higher, we were staying in kona for one week and found this gem through yelp-we had breakfast every morning here and then dinner also on our last night, 10/10, food, staff, location-every visit was fantastic!!!!

Tags: Great for Lunch, Good for a Date, Kid-friendly, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on January 3, 2018

We go to Island Lava Java a lot. It never disappoints. We love the new building. Especially upstairs so that we have a view & are not surrounded by a lot of people.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Scenic View
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 1, 2018

It took 33 minutes to get a round of cocktails after we sat down. Then my dinner arrived 12 minutes after everyone else was served. A pork chop for dessert was certainly unique

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food4
ambience4
service2
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 1, 2018

Waitress seemed confused. Chicken on salad was inedible. Rest of food was subpar.

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food2
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (Denver)·Dined on December 31, 2017

Dinner here was our first meal in Hawaii, and the location couldn't have been more perfect! We had a table right at the edge of the patio for a stunning view on the sunset.
The cocktails were unique and delicious. The fish tacos were fresh and perfectly cooked. The fries were a bit cold, but both the tacos and my husband' prawn pizza were hot, so it seemed they plated the fries a little too early. But since we were dining on New Years Eve and the restaurant was packed, it wasn't a big deal. The pineapple mango lime cheesecake was light, fruity but not overpowering, and delicious!
It was loud, and they had live music on both the main floor and the second floor. From where we were sitting, we could hear both singers so it was hard to listen to just one. I don't know if that's a normal situation or if it was for New Year's Eve.

Tags: Hot Spot, Waterfront
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on December 31, 2017

We had a nice time but they don't have their operation wired. The hostess mentioned her iPad died so she didn't have our reservation in front of her (but we did get a table right away) and the waitress was very nice but slow (overheard that she answered the phone, which put her behind.) A nice touch was a candle in the dessert for my son's birthday & the latte I ordered at the end (though I had to wait ages for it, with the waitress apologizing) was delicious!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Scenic View, Casual, People Watching, Kid-friendly, Afternoon Coffee
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food4
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 31, 2017

Yummy food and great service for the first breakfast of our vacation.

Tags: Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on December 29, 2017

It took an hour to get our meal to the table. I had an empty water glass for a long time, and had to ask for water finally. The fish was overcooked and tasted like plastic. The sauce for the fish and asparagus was too sweet - tasted like it should be on a donut.

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food1
ambience3
service1
value1

 
 (Cleveland)·Dined on December 28, 2017

Great Bellini and breakfast, roasted veggies omlette and half a papaya (w/lemon)

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food5
ambience5
service4

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on December 28, 2017

I have visited Kona once or twice a year for the past 13 years.
My husband is a flight attendant and when he had a kona layover I jumped in it.
We both were excited for our usual breakfast at Lava Java. We ventured over to where the restaurant was and we discovered it had moved a half a block south.
Great new location, more of a restaurant now than a coffee shop.
So what had us both down is apparently quite a bit changed with their location.
The island style pancakes that use to have macadamia nuts in the pancakes now just had them sprinkled sparsely ontop, the coconut syrup was just sweet and didn't taste much like coconut as it has before.
My husband had a breakfast with the breakfast potatoes.
He use to hate potatoes for breakfast but many years ago java lava changed his mind. Today they didn't have rosemary on them and were just tasteless.

The bacon which has in the past been thick cut, has turned into Denny's bacon.

So apparently the recipes also changed along with a new address.... very sad.

Tags: Waterfront
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food3
ambience5
service3
value3

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 25, 2017

Loved sitting under moonlight, palm trees, and tiki torches, and of course, the great ocean view. Great service and good food as well.

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food3
ambience5
service5
value2

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on December 25, 2017

Good coffee drinks!
Pull aparts are fantastic.

For Breakfast lava java is our prefered choice in Kona.

Tags: Afternoon Coffee, Healthy, Scenic View, Casual, Local Ingredients, Live Music, Waterfront, Great for Outdoor Dining, Fun, Kid-friendly, Happy Hour, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 25, 2017

The sea view is spectacular. The location is central to many shops and points of interest inn Kona. We were there Christmas Day afternoon. The vibe was festive and happy hours menu very good.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Scenic View
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve
Service very poor
Waited super long to order then pupu came, then dinner then drink
Then waited a long time even for bill

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food3
ambience3
service1
value3

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on December 24, 2017

クリスマスイブなのに空いていた。
ハンバーガーはボリュームがあり美味しかった。
地元のお客もハンバーガーをオーダーしている人が多かった。

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service3
value4

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 23, 2017

Very nice. Great staff. Food was delicious. Will go back

Tags: Waterfront, Good for Birthdays, Kid-friendly, Great for Outdoor Dining, Worth the Drive, Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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