Friday, March 11, 2011

Review: Kona Cafe

I bet this picture alone will entice you to read on
I was very much looking forward to eating at Kona Cafe, since I had heard a lot about it from many people in the Disney community.  It is a generally revered restaurant, and I was interested to compare it in my mind to the dinner at 'Ohana we had in 2009.  We had an ADR around 7 pm, and we were seated almost immediately upon arrival.  Unfortunately, this is where dinner started to go downhill.

Our server took almost 15 minutes to come over to our table at all.  I mean, she didn't even stop by to tell us that she'd be over in a few minutes.  It was like we were the forgotten table, and James even mentioned that if we weren't at Disney, he would have left the restaurant.  Amazingly, our server finally came over, introduced herself, and told us a little bit about the menu.  Obviously we had already decided what we wanted at this point, so we ordered everything right away.  I was hoping to forget the little service snafu and have a good dinner, which we did.

I hate when James doesn't let me use flash in food pictures!
We started out with the sweet bread and butter.  Most people love this bread, so although I'm not a huge fan, I'm saying that's based on my personal taste.  I'm pretty sure James liked it.  Soon, our sticky wings for two came out, as pictured at the top of this post.  This was by far the highlight of our meal.  The wings were delicious as usual, and I'm pretty sure we ate almost all of them with no regard to our imminent entrees.  We paid for the sticky wings out of pocket even though we were on the dining plan, and it was so worth it.  I would even consider coming to Kona and just ordering the sticky wings. Yum!

My teriyaki steak
 I had the teriyaki steak as my entree, as I've heard so much about it, and I love anything in teriyaki sauce.  The steak was good, but I didn't think it was anything special.  I prefer the teriyaki steak at my local Japanese restaurant to it, and it definitely wasn't the best meal of the trip.  That said, it was a perfectly respectable steak, and I would recommend it to any steak eaters.  Plus I loved the broccolini, but I'm just weird like that.  James had the shrimp and scallops dinner, and he thought it was okay.  Based on my photo and memory, I don't think it was a ton of food, and he was still a little bothered by the service issue earlier in the night.  Other than the sticky wings, I don't think James was a huge fan of Kona.

James' shrimp and scallops
Yummy fondue!
After dinner, we had the incredibly difficult choice of what to get for dessert.  The chocolate creme brulee sounded good, but it also had bananas which I don't love.  I was basically down to the famous Kona Cone vs. the chocolate fondue, and I went with the fondue.  I honestly can not remember for the life of me what James ordered, so it must have not been very exciting.  We did, however, get birthday cupcakes!  These were exciting no matter how many times we got them.  And at Kona, they had "Happy Birthday" AND an image of Lilo and Stitch on the plates with this powdered chocolate stuff.  So cool!

Overall, I would recommend Kona to anyone who is looking for a dinner that's a little bit less known to the general public.  It would probably be easy to get an ADR here a few days before or even a walk up, and the dining choices are interesting.  Plus the sticky wings and desserts are delicious.  As for the entrees, they were meh.  I know some people rave about the steak, but I thought it was just okay.  Kona was a nice restaurant, but I don't think it measured up to my expectations.  Or maybe they were just too high.

Check out the menus for breakfastlunch, and dinner here.


  1. Isn't too bad when service ruins a meal? We ate at California Grill last week, and it was our only dinner alone on the trip. Brandon proposed to me earlier in the week (yay!) so it was our engagement celebration and we even had just engaged buttons.

    Well, we waited 45 minutes past our reservation time to be seated (nevermind the 20 minutes in addition because we were early), we didn't have our drinks ordered for another 20 minutes (we just wanted water!, food orders took another 25 minutes... etc. and I know its not important, but I was a little surprised that although the girl at the check in desk made a big deal when she saw our buttons, the server did nothing special and barely acknowledged our engagement :(

  2. Oh no! California Grill is my favorite restaurant! It stinks when a restaurant that you know is good has a bad day.


    I need to get back to WDW now and gorge myself on them. Thank you for the food porn!

  4. According to my 11 year old nephew Ferdie Kona has the best mac n cheese on Disney property. Ergo, we are eating there on his 12th birthday in August. I'm curious to try it at dinner-my feelings on breakfast were that I could have just gotten my Tonga Toast at Capt. Cook's for a fraction of the price.

  5. Lol, let me know what you think about dinner!

  6. Interestingly, Kona is no longer an easy place to get reservations! Most times for dinner, it is booked solid. You can sometimes get a walk up reservation for lunch but not without a lengthy wait.

    'Ohana is still my favorite!