Gardena Bowl Coffee Shop is historically delicious

(Photo by Brett Callwood)

By Brett Callwood

The Gardena Bowl Coffee Shop is located, unsurprisingly, within the Gardena Bowl. The place is an historic fixture in this city – there’s a poster on the wall recalling its grand opening in December 1948, which serves a reminder that it’s about to celebrate its 75th anniversary. That’s no small feat.

As well as the bowling lanes, there’s a bar/ and lounge, billiard tables and arcade games, offering a multi-entertainment environment. The Coffee Shop only adds to that vibe.

It’s far more of a fully functioning diner than simply a coffee shop, as many people in this city will already know. The really fun thing is that it feels a little bit like you’re walking into a time warp – that it’s still the late ‘40s or the ‘50s. Only the flashing lights of the arcade machines and updated bowling computer screens give the modern era away. Because the Gardena Bowl Coffee Shop in particular has that wonderful all-American classic diner feel about it.

When you dig a little deeper though, and start reading the menu, you realize that there’s a strong Hawaiian and Japanese connection. In fact, the fact that this is one of the best places to get Hawaiian food in Gardena, inside a bowling alley, is own of the city’s glorious oddities.

Our delicious menu items are prepared fresh and are a local favorite in Gardena,” they say online. That’s good to know, and we’ll certainly return for another time and try the Portuguese Sausage Mix “Portuguese Sausage, Eggs, Green Onions with Rice or Potatoes” or the Hawaiian Royal “Portuguese Sausage, Chashu, Green Onions & Eggs over a Bed of Rice with Teriyaki Sauce.” We wanted something a little less elaborate on a weekday morning, so we opted for the Hawaiian French Toast. The super thick bread, coated with egg as you would expect, is perfectly crispy on the outside, with the right amount of bounce. 

It’s dusted with cinnamon – we’re not sure if that’s the Hawaiian part, but it works beautifully. French Toast is a simple breakfast dish, but it’s easy to get wrong. All too often, it can be soggy and bland. Here it’s full of flavor. 

Paired with breakfast syrup, it’s wonderful. Get the combo, two eggs and two rashers of bacon or a sausage patty. That’s a great breakfast.

Gardena Bowl Coffee Shop is located at 15707 S. Vermont Ave., Gardena 90247. Call 310-532-0820 or visit and