Living in the coolest city in the world is a daunting task, especially when it comes to choosing a hip place to eat. Los Angeles, California has approximately 27,908 options to choose from ranging anywhere between full-service restaurants and uniquely popular food trucks. So even though gluten free products and kale smoothies are staples to the community, it is virtually impossible to cover every famous locale on the LA food scene in one lifetime. I have been plagued by this overwhelming sense of FOMO ever since I moved to the City of Angels. Although I have been constantly gorging on double doubles and animal style fries from In-N-Out Burger, I decided that it was time to branch out and try the best this city had to offer.
I started by having brunch at The Ivy near Rodeo Drive, managed to catch a peek at Kylie Jenner and her entourage of paparazzi and interchangeable rappers. The food was great and the drinks were overpriced. How Beverly Hills of me I thought. Still, I didn't feel truly satisfied.Following the bottomless rounds of mimosas and camera flashes I decided to try something a little more low key and subtly pretentious. A week later I visited L & E Oyster Bar in Silver Lake, and it has become a ritual of mine to indulge in glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and The Daily Dozen every Sunday evening. However, I was still missing that authentic laid back sensation I was yearning for.
To my surprise the answer to my prayers arrived in the form of recently renovated bar arcade on Sunset Boulevard. That evening I was making my way to Griffith Park for the Great Horror Campout except my excitement was no longer contained by the prospect of spending a sleepless night avoiding murderers, but rather getting to eat at Button Mash afterward.
From the creators of Starry Kitchen, an underground LA pioneer in pop-up diner, comes Button Mash, an eclectic burger joint with a 90s throwback design and film noir feel. What makes this new eatery such a fantastic place to eat is due to its ability to turn dinner into an event! The restaurant boats a large dining room that seats 90 customers with a minimal look created by local artists Design Bitches. Aside from dine in options for clients there is an open arcade with more than 100 machines that are kept on constant rotation for any gaming pleasure. Some games include Michael Jackson's Moonwalker, Tron, Streetfighter, and numerous pinball machines.
I played a nostalgic game of Pac-Mania while drinking my Malbec Invaders wine. Yes, it is true. They have a special 2014 Fabien Jouves varietal that features Space Invaders aliens on the label. If you're not into wine do not panic as the bar serves 12 craft beers on tap.
Have I mentioned the food? Undoubtedly Starry Kitchen is best known for their Asian infusion that includes succulent crispy tofu balls and garlic noodles. The menu has a variety of options like vegan braised coca-cola jackfruit sandwiches, tamarind chili chicken wings, and Vietnamese spring rolls. I however went for the classic double cheeseburger. There is nothing like eating a no-frills burger with garlic noodles and feeling undoubtedly American.
At the end of the night, and several glasses of Malbec Invaders later, my check came in R.L. Stine's Fear Street novel The Fire Game. I then proceeded to drunkenly stumble around the arcade, gathering my custom Button Mash tokens, and ending the night with a round of Forgotten Worlds.