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Memories made at Zia’s

By Yu Shing Ting
October 26, 2014

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Since its opening in 2001, Zia’s Caffe in Kaneohe has been our go-to place for many special occasions. Conveniently located around the corner from our old office, we often celebrated co-workers’ birthdays there, or walked over as a group for its daily lunch specials. A few years ago, we relocated to Kakaako, and Zia’s is one of the things we all agree that we miss. Fortunately, I live in Kaneohe, so it’s still right around the corner for me.

This week, I want to take this opportunity to thank Zia’s owner Don Dymond for providing us with such a perfect place to meet and eat for so many years. Dymond passed away Sept. 30, and a celebration of his life is being held today at Le Jardin Academy.

The last time I saw Dymond was earlier this year, when I sat down with him for a story on Zia’s new weekend breakfast menu. Clearly, he was a smart businessman, but he also was genuinely nice and caring. You could see it in the way he interacted with his staff, his customers and those around him.

“Don was like a father to me,” adds service manager Sheela Junk, who has been with Zia’s for six years. “He just was a great soul. He took care of us here, and he was a good, kindhearted man that is deeply missed.”

Dymond’s son Lindsey, who co-owns Zia’s, continues to run the family business which also includes Kalapawai Market in Kailua.

Described as a localized Italian restaurant, Zia’s offers a savory menu of Italian favorites using locally grown and sustainable produce. It’s a casual, family-friendly, neighborhood restaurant that has become a favorite of Windward residents.

From its lunch menu, you’ll want to try any of the Signature Sandwiches. The most popular is Chicken Club Sandwich ($10.50) featuring applewood smoked bacon, avocado, tomato, mayo and arugula on Agnes’ Bakery focaccia bread. During the days of our old office lunch outings, I recall Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich, French Dip with au jus, and Pasta and Salad Combo also getting a lot of orders.

Among the popular appetizers is Island Tomato Bruschetta ($8.50) consisting of four toast points served with diced tomatoes, fresh basil and olive oil, and drizzled with basil oil and honey balsamic glaze.

When it comes to salads, Panzanella ($14) is another must-try. It’s a bread salad with grilled chicken, tomato, avocado, cucumber, fresh mozzarella, romaine, torn bread, and tossed with red wine vinaigrette and a drizzle of basil oil and honey balsamic glaze.

Of course, you’ll also find a nice offering of pasta dishes, pizza and more.

Zia’s is open for lunch and dinner, with happy hour specials from 3 to 6 p.m. daily. The restaurant also serves breakfast on the weekends, including signature ‘Eye Opener’ cocktails to help you start your day.

Zia’s Caffe

45-620 Kamehameha Hwy., Kaneohe
235-9427
Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.