Sadly, my favorite Italian restaurant went from Bella Marvelous to Bella Missing in what seemed like a matter of months. We returned to the cute Kaimuki eatery after a short hiatus, only to find that the lights off and door closed. A sign on the gate said that the restaurant was for sale.

Bummed and still curious about the closure, I checked their website and Facebook page, but none existed. I am guessing their prices were much too low for an expensive city, like Honolulu. The tasty – yet affordable – meals are what kept us going back for years.

That, and the broccoli-mozzarella calzone…and the tiramisu…and THE BREAD. There was nothing not to like about Bella Mia’s menu. For just under $10 a dish, customers got a huge serving of savory Italian food. The calzones seemed to take over the very plate it rested on. The tiramisu was more than just super-sized but one of the best in town.

And the bread! Those who know me best know that I am crazy for the carb. What I liked about Bella Mia’s bread was that it wasn’t the stale/cheap loaves of French bread, like most restaurants serve. It was baked daily, seasoned with just the right amount of salt and butter and, best of all, served hot!

Bella Mia was located right below another great restaurant called Himalayan Kitchen. Both had been part of our island cuisine routine whenever we were craving Italian or Indian eats. I can honestly say that I never tired of either restaurant.

The good news is that Bella Mia’s to-go spot on Beretania Street is still around. I have not been there before but may just have to stop by to cure my Bella withdrawals. Because it is not a dine-in restaurant, I’m not sure they’ll serve bread. But it would be totally worth buying it!


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