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“Nice find in Kailua”
Review of Buona Sera

Buona Sera
Ranked #45 of 153 Restaurants in Kailua
Price range: $11 - $20
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed January 19, 2014

Small storefront restaurant with nice decor and an unique arrangement of tables that maximizes ace but give patrons privacy. Nice menu and wine list with reasonable prices and very good service. Walls are covered with individually decorated Chianti bottles. Menu includes many Italian favorites and the quality is quite good. It is not the best Italian you ever had but it does not disappoint.

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1  Thank Macomfs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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28 - 32 of 58 reviews

Reviewed November 24, 2013

My husband and I arrived in Kailua on a friend's birthday who lives in Kailua. We asked her to make a reservation for 5 at the restaurant of her choice. This is the restaurant she chose. Since we landed that day, I was initially a bit disappointed that we weren't going to go to more of a traditional Hawaiian type restaurant, but it was her birthday, and her choice. Let me also say that my husband and I don't EVER go to Italian restaurants. We grow tomatoes, oregano and basil in our garden, and I make sauce from SCRATCH! We have traveled ALL OVER ITALY, been to several Italian restaurants in major cities (i.e. New York, San Francisco, etc.), and we've never been impressed much. I have to say, Buona Sera SURPRISED us! We LOVED it! First of all, this is just a cute little restaurant that you can tell is family owned; not a chain. The service was really excellent. We ordered three appetizers, and everyone ordered an entrée. The food was truly authentic Italian -- seasoned "just right" and cooked to perfection. The only "ding" I'm going to make on the restaurant is that since I knew nothing about this restaurant before visiting Kailua, I didn't realize they charge a $10 corkage fee. Outrageous much??? Yes, especially, since you can apparently purchase a bottle of chianti for $6, un-corked! (It would have been NICE if our server had told us that :) But, overall, the prices are very reasonable, and when we visit friends in Kailua again, we will definitely, go back to Buona Sera. Who KNEW you could find one of the most authentic Italian restaurants in Hawaii? Love it!

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1  Thank SandraPittsburgh_PA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2013

Made reservations with friends for this small Italian restaurant and was pleasantly surprised. Arrived on time and our table awaited. Ordered up wine from a lovely waitress who was so pleasant and accommodating. Great lasagna, appetizer and desert. All in all a perfect evening.

Thank jyoung3381
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2013

Let's be clear, this is not a fancy italian restaurant and it is not a pizza and pasta red sauce joint. Buona Sera falls in between. I can see how displaced North Easterners can come here to relive Little Italy dinners from their past. With its small grotto like space, and the wonderful wine bottle crusted walls, this place is all about atmosphere. The food, however, is pretty average. The pasta is not home made but the sauce is and is mild if not very flavorful.

Hungry and not wanting to go to a chain or grab a slice? This is a decent place to find some traditional italian food dishes.

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1  Thank travelnMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2013

On the outside it appears like Italian restaurant. On the inside it seems that the cook must be some 5th generation of the Italians in US and has already lost touch with Italian couisne. We went there because the place was busy and it looked cozy. But the food was terrible. My dish felt more Chinese than Italian and wife's was full of tomato sauce from the can. House wine below average. Staff friendly and kind but a bit sloppy. The place is cheap for Hawaii standards but still not worth it. I wouldn't go again.

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Thank BK75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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