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“Casual But Delicious” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Zia's Caffe

Zia's Caffe
45-620 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, Oahu, HI 96744-2038
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Ranked #20 of 113 Restaurants in Kaneohe
Cuisines: Italian
Restaurant details
Salem, Oregon
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Casual But Delicious”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2011

There are 2 Zias, one in Kane'ohe and one in Kailua. We ate at both a total of 4 times, lunch and dinner. Kailua has a wonderful outdoor cafe and a nice selection of sandwiches, etc. We had dinner in Kane'ohe and it was delicious and reasonably priced and a fun, casual atmosphere. The staff at both locations are great.

Visited October 2011
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47 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Forgetable Dinner”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2011

My wife and I were looking for a place for dinner and choose Zia's on the suggestion of an employee at a near by smoothie place. The staff was very friendly, but neither of our meals were impressive. My wife had the Tuscan Chicken and I had the "Catch of the Day". Both lacked flavor. I never add salt to my meals but had to make an exception for this one. We won't be returning.

  • Visited August 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2011

i sent an email to the manager and the owner responded with insults and excuses. Basically told me it would be better my family not visit them any longer. They didn't refill coffee, you need to request for bread and water and took credit for a successful business for a decade when they just recieved the business in Jan 2011. Very long email but the response is shocking.

Hi Micah,

Last night my parents, my husband, daughter and I dined in Zia's and were extremely disappointed with the service.

Our waiter was Michael. He came and asked if we wanted to start on drinks, we asked for water and my mom requested for some lemon for her water. My Dad ordered coffee..husband ordered beer and daughter fruit punch. He brought the drinks but no lemon. We had to ask for the lemon after seeing him pass us 3 times. He apologized and finally brought it. (His reaction was pretty obvious he forgot). That's fine we carried on.

Being my Mom had been there most recent she noticed no bread came to the table, I looked around and no one else had bread either, so we asked Michael and he explained it was a year ago it was changed that bread is only brought to the table upon request.... but my Mom was just there in July and received bread without being asked... that's strange?? It took him a while to bring the bread but it finally came shortly before our meal. But honestly Italian food and bread really goes hand in hand. Even Zippy's gives garlic bread with their Spaghetti, My daughter ordered spaghetti from the kids meal and no bread...unless she had to ask.

I called Michael during our meal to ask for more bread (there was 5 of us)...at the register he looked my way and put his hand up in telling me to wait. I waited for about 3 minutes (which seemed like a long time considering the time it took him to bring the first basket I wanted to enjoy my meal with more bread) finally I ended up asking another waiter to let Michael know all I wanted was more bread. The other waiter said he would get it for us and in less then a minute he came with more bread. That was the highlight of our meal...pretty sad right?

At the end of our meal Michael cleared our table and asked if we wanted desert, My daughter had to ask what kind of desert comes with her meal and ordered vanilla ice cream (she's 10 years old). Keep in mind, our water glasses were now half full my Mom's was completely empty and my Dad's coffee cup was also empty. Never did he ask for a refill on anything. I guess you need to ask?

Not sure if he needed to place an order in the back for a scoop of ice cream but he was able to take a couple of orders from 2 other tables, fill ice tea at another table before my daughters ice cream came. The service last night was really bad.

Just to recap.... our experience at Zia's was terrible. You should let all patrons know up front if you want more water, please ask, If you want more bread you need to ask, if you want coffee refilled , please ask. There should be a sign saying if we want service it will be rendered upon request only.

As silly as this may sound I don't think we were asked for anything out of the ordinary compared to any other restaurant. I have received better service at Zippy's to be honest. Personally I would not want to dine there if Michael is working because I would not want to ask to be seated in any station beside Michael's. As it stands I don't think I would dine there again.

Service and food goes hand in hand and word of mouth in Hawaii is also a big deal.

I am terribly sorry to hear about your poor service experience at Zia's Caffe in Kaneohe.   Michael has been working with us here for over 5 years and this is the first complaint that i have received about his service.  Please allow me a few moments to address a few of your concerns:
Regarding water:
- Pursuant  to the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, restaurants are not allowed to continually refill diners' waters without their requesting it.  Please refer to the Board of Water Supply Link for more information http://www.hbws.org/cssweb/display.cfm?sid=2058 
Re: the lemon:
- Servers make honest mistakes, as does everyone. Michael admitted to his error and apologized for this.  We appreciate your understanding and I apologize that it created such duress.
Re: Bread:
- We are a restaurant and a business.   We purchase food, process food and prepare food to sell for a profit.   We instituted our bread policy over two years ago in order to encourage patrons to read the menu.   Our bread policy is very clearly noted on the third line of our menu.  
Re: Italian food always being served with bread:
-Throughout my extensive travels of Italy and Europe, I was not once served bread with any form of pasta dish.  This goes against the classic Italian and European culinary philosophies of never having two starches on the same plate.  Zippy's is not European or Italian cuisine.
Re: Ice Cream:
- As a courtesy to our Keiki, we offer a small cup of either vanilla or rainbow sherbert.   After interviewing Michael about the happenings of that evening, I trust him when he told me that he had mentioned the flavors.   As for him visiting other tables first, I find it unfortunate that you followed him around concerned for your ice cream and were unable to enjoy the company of your family.
Re: Customer courtesy:
- Even in the service industry, there is a certain level of quid pro quo that occurs.   On the particular evening which you are referencing, Michael had a full section which requires him to also provide equal service to his other tables.  Service industry workers work very hard for their income and can be put off by certain comments and/or actions made by customers, as is human nature. A customer that has no respect for the staff has no business being there.
Re: Word of Mouth:
- I too was born and raised in Hawaii and have lived on the Windward Side for 30 years.  I understand very well how the "coconut wireless" operates.  Word of mouth is a very important piece of our advertising as are positive customer relations and family values.   We treat our employees with dignity and respect as well as make very sizable contributions to many of the non-profit organizations and public schools on Oahu.   Over the past decade we have made a habit of hiring local high school kids and starting them off with an honest job and a positive work place; as a parent, I'm sure that you certainly see the value in this. 
Re: The comment, "There should be a sign saying if we want service it will be rendered upon request only."
- It is unfortunate that you feel this way as we have been a positive community member for over 10 years.  We at Zia's Caffe enjoy and earn a living in providing people with a good time and having a memorable experience.  I very rarely do this as it is my habit as the proprietor, to encourage people to come in to dine, however, this comment is immature and i would expect more from someone who is both a professional and a parent.  Comments like that are childish as well as derogatory, hence I am going to ask you to visit Zippy's the next time your family thinks of dining out.  I cannot allow my staff of hardworking adults be so directly insulted.
Lindsey Dymond
Proprietor, Zia's Caffe-Kaneohe

  • Visited August 2011
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Villages, Florida
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
“Third Thursday Wine Tasting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2011

Zia's has a wine tasting coupled with pupu's (appetizers for non Hawaiian speakers) on the 3rd Thursday of every month. Each wine is matched with and appetizer portion of the menu. It is excellent. We had a Pinot Grigio with a salad with apricots, field mix salad, and sauteed pork belly for the first course. Second coupling was pepperoni spiced salmon on toast, paired with Chardonnay. Third was a venison Calzone paired with a Merlot. Last was a Wagyu beef with celery root, pearl onion, green beans in gravy. We reserved for July also, and it was almost sold out. Whether you go for the wine tasting or the full menu, it is highly recommended.

  • Visited June 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“horrible service”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2011

placed order at 5 pm -- main course arrived at 7 pm -- be sure to eat BEFORE you come so that you would go hungry for hours after you arrive-

  • Visited May 2011
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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