Tilley’s takes a hit

Although Tilley’s Café appears to be a quaint, possibly cheesy, Hawaiian restaurant, it is surprisingly much worse.Upon arrival, a server promptly shows one to his seat. The bread basket arrives speedily, water glasses are filled and drinks are ordered. The dining experience is playing out as it should, yet the ordered drinks take a while to reach the table, a pattern that is consistently repeated throughout the evening.Even after the sluggish drink arrival, the server continues to dawdle during every event, from re-filling water glasses to bringing the main course. The fastest item brought to the table was the check.And what a hefty thing that check was. Usually, a large checks coming from superb restaurants is not an issue. In this case, the slow service, the odd cuisine, and the out of place décor do not justify the prices.The food served at Tilley’s Cafe is not terrible by any means. It is actually well-cooked seafood and creatively formed sushi. If one decides to go, the scallop appetizer with peach risotto and wilted spinach is extremely satisfying. For $10, the interesting addition of peaches in the risotto makes the dish complete. The scallops were cooked thoroughly and were not overdone, a cooking accomplishment hard to achieve.One might begin to question why the slow service matters so much if the food is beautifully presented and has a unique taste. However, it’s the uniqueness of Tilley’s Café that is taken too far in many of the dishes. While the scallops were delicious, the Luau salad, priced at $14, lacked dressing. A lightly dressed salad is refreshing, but a salad so lightly dressed that one cannot taste it is frustrating.The salad appeared to be creative, but tasted terrible. Supposedly, the pineapple was grilled, but grilled food usually is not crunchy. The best ingredient was the extra chicken, which also meant an extra addition to the tab.The crab, mango and avocado sushi, at $10 a dish, was as equally lifeless as the salad. The sushi came with a Thai Chili sauce, an attempt at spicing up the roll. However it failed to complement the dish at all.The menu of Tilley’s Café is filled with a variety of items similar to these, and while there definitely is the occasional gem, the exorbitant prices are not worth the food, and not very fun for a poor college student.The decoration does not help the problem. With toy sailboats placed sporadically around the room and the Hawaiian-esque murals on most of the walls, the tropical theme is so overwhelming it’s almost stifling. Even the tropical fish tanks, so highly advertised on Tilley’s Web site, are tucked away from the diner’s view. During the meal, a diner cannot even distract themselves from the food by watching beautiful tropical fish, imagining they are somewhere that is 90 degrees instead of two.After the entire experience, from table to exit, this restaurant was significantly disappointing. A return visit is not on the calendar.