This one is a bit of a curious experience. When I think of bowling alley and food, I’m thinking greasy spoon diner fare. Sandwiches, soup, burger & fries. The Alley at Aiea Bowl has that, and so much more.
This is a bowling alley. And it looks and sounds like it. There’s the frequent smash of bowling pins interrupting any conversation you may have. But the restaurant there-in is essentially a diner, but again it emphasizes local island cuisine, all made in-house using quality ingredients.
The place was quite busy. We had to wait ten minutes for a table (seats approximately 40-50 people).
I was immediately drawn to a pair of large display coolers filled with made-in-house desserts. Pies, cakes, cheesecakes, etc. It looked pretty good.
These are thin cut russet potatoes, twice fried and tossed with salt and sautéed garlic. The fries were hot and crisp, and yeah, it was pretty seriously garlicky. Good thing we weren’t meeting anyone else after dinner, otherwise that would have made for short conversations.
I ordered the “tasty chicken” and furikake crusted Ahi Tuna with salad and rice.
The “tasty chicken” is boneless chicken dredged in coating of seasoned mochiko flour and deep-fried to a light crisp, then dipped in their “tasty” sauce. It seems to be a thin honey sweetened soy, garlic sauce. The chicken was excellent, tender, meaty, sweet and zesty.
The second half of the dish is a pair of Ahi tuna strips dredged in furukake seasoning (a japanese condiment consisting of dried seaweed, dried fish, sesame seeds, salt and sugar) and pan seared. The tuna strips were quite thin so the tuna was cooked all the way through. While this was okay, when I’ve had furukake seared tuna before, it was cooked on the outside, but rare on the inside (which I would have preferred). I’m not sure if the result here was intentional or accidental.
The side salad was a caesar salad. It was crisp and fresh and the dressing was quite garlicky.
I wanted to try some of the impressive desserts, but I just didn’t have room for it. Maybe next time.
The service was prompt and friendly.
The room, well it’s on the edge of a bowling alley. While dining area is separated off my a shoulder-high barrier, it still has all the ambiance of a bowling alley.
But that’s okay, it’s not a fine dining experience, it’s diner food at a reasonable price, and good food at that.