BEST BOWLING ALLEY (1999)
Stardust Lanes has more madhouse ambiance for curious voyeurs who consider bowling an intriguing "experience." And the bohemian-friendly haven of Bryant-Lake Bowl is certainly a more opportune spot in which to see and be seen. But Elsie's is the place folks go simply to bowl. Amid an assortment of neighborhood regulars, cheap dates, and earnest amateurs like yourself, you'll find this the ideal place to hone your craft without feeling intimidated by pros or distracted by goings-on. Note: Last summer's renovations, though much needed, are sure to infuriate purists who consider computerized scoring and black light the bowling equivalent of Astroturf, and we're not about to show up for Grateful Bowl night. But Elsie's has lost none of its intimacy, and, by any objectively unsentimental standard, the new lanes are an improvement.