3rd visit and review and I'm convinced. They've done a great job in working out the kinks and seem to be getting things right, at least with their menu and offerings. We (3 couples) went on a Sunday evening and more or less had the place to ourselves. Needless to say, our server and service were great. On Sundays, bottles of wine are 1/2 price which was an added treat. After having suffered from other restaurants attempts at calamari, I was hesitant to try theirs. The server convinced me that 'theirs was the best' in town, to which I was dubious. My wife and I split the order and admittedly, I was not only some of the best that I've had in Cedar Rapids, there was ample to easily satisfy us. It's served with a smallish portion of aioli and a couple of limes. I requested additional limes and next time will ask for more aioli. Every one else seemed to enjoy their appetizers as well. I ordered the Pad Thai once again and was very pleased with the presentation, portion size, and taste. I requested additional crushed peanuts for the topping and could have used a few more limes to squeeze over but it was very good. My wife ordered the encrusted salmon filet, as did two of our friends and they all said it was very good. The coup de gras of the evening were the deserts. Our server informed us that Lava is one of the few in the city to have its own pastry chef. Little did we know what to expect but the deserts were all outstanding. A creme brulee, strawberry shortcake and bread pudding were ordered. I was so full from my Pad Thai that I only sampled two of the offerings...the creme brulee and the bread pudding, both of which were very good, although I normally like my creme brulee with a bit more of the crusty seared melted sugar topping. The bread pudding was excellent, moist with blueberries instead of traditional raisins and yummy sauce. All the deserts were presented wonderfully (see pics) and were of ample portion size for sharing. A thoroughly enjoyable dinner experience and we'll definitely be returning.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.