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“Delicious lunch - very friendly staff!”

Kalapawai Cafe & Deli
Ranked #1 of 147 Restaurants in Kailua
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $1 - $20
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations, Takeout
Reviewed May 6, 2014

Would recommend this place! Good value for your money! A nice healthy choice! Lots of menu choice! A big plus for vegans!

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Thank Shevchenkos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (557)
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353 - 357 of 557 reviews

Reviewed April 24, 2014

Always a good place to grab a good deli sandwich when coming thru town. Have always been very friendly, and helpful.

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Thank CValentine99676
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2014

I have been coming to Kailua for years and I have always enjoyed the deli sandwiches at Kalapawai Market, and even the occasional "beach burger" outside, so going to dinner at the Kalapawai Cafe seemed like a no-brainier. We have a lot of favorite restaurants on Oahu, so we don't always find time to try different restaurants, but the reviews on TripAdvisor compelled us to visit Kalapawai Cafe. Unfortunately, the food was not that great and the restaurant appeared to be poorly managed. Of course, I am basing this review on my own experience, and it is possible that we caught them on a really bad night, but my experience on this particular night was really pretty bad.

We were a large party of seven and the server made several recommendations to our group. I choose a steak special that she highly recommended, as did my 16 year-old daughter. We always order our meats well-done and really don't like any red in our meat. Unfortunately, after over-explaining my desire for well-done to the server, my steak was served lukewarm and nearly raw! In fact, I would say that my steak was seared only, almost like a somebody was playing a practical joke on me. My daughter's steak was served medium, but she didn't feel like waiting on a re-fire, so she traded it to another family member for a chicken dish. Honestly, as a well-done meat eater, it is not unusual to have a steak come to my table undercooked, but this was barely seared! Frankly, it is much more rare for a steak to arrive at my table well-done, than it is to have it arrive undercooked, so I am actually very forgiving of a slightly undercooked steaks. However, this steak was so completely under cooked that is should have been obvious to even the most inexperienced chef and server. What's worse, after sending the steak back three times, I still never achieved more than medium-well! How does that happen? So, after the third re-fire, out of respect to the rest of my family, I just gave up and ate it. Additionally, when they returned the steak to me, they presented it very poorly.

Surprisingly, after a triple steak re-fire, I never received a single visit from the restaurant manager apologizing for the mistake. In fact, the server seemed unaffected by the triple re-fire, which suggests that either it happens all the time, or she needs some additional training. When I complained to her about the steak fiasco, because she had not yet apologized, she did offer me a free slice of coconut cream pie. The server acted as if she was bothered by the requests to have the kitchen cook the steak properly, but a good server would have waited at the table for me to check the steak, before walking away, which would have saved us some additional pain and suffering. Honestly, I don't need free food, nor did I feel like coconut cream pie, but I do expect to get what I ordered, or in the ballpark of what I ordered. The manager should have removed the meal from the check and apologized personally for the mishandling of the steak. Although it might appear that my negative review is based solely on the steak fiasco, my entire party of 7 found the food to be just average in quality and flavors. I don't write reviews on every restaurant I visit and probably would have avoided writing a review on the Kalapawai Cafe, but the steak fiasco was just so unusually bad that I had to review it on TripAdvisor. Clearly, based on the other positive reviews, I appear to be somewhat of an outlier regarding my bad experience with Kalapawai Cafe & Deli, but based my experience, I would avoid this restaurant.

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Thank PJS308
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2014

Whether or not they know your name. Whether or not your normal daily order is ready at the counter when you walk-in, the greeting, the food and the delightfully friendly service is ever-flowing. Their "sister" spot near the beach offers nearly the same overall experience.

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Thank johnfjohnston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2014 via mobile

Great selections on the menu. Had some GF options. Only thing keeping me from giving it 5 full circles was the wait time from order in to food on the table. Won't stop us from going back.

Thank Swiftwater4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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