Whatever you want to call it, Button Mash has created a category all its own in L.A. The Echo Park barcade now serves one of the unique menus in the city courtesy of Bavel alum Diego Argoti, who's also behind cult-favorite pasta concept, Estrano Things. Taking a page from his popular street pop-up, Argoti applies a similarly chaotic approach to dishes like panang lamb neck and green goddess salad. While not every dish lands, the mash-up of global flavors, ingredients and cooking traditions fit perfectly with the eclectic atmosphere of Button Mash, where buzzers and bulbs go off in the background as you turn over a bright purple cabbage roll, wondering just how Argoti might riff on Chinese mapo tofu. For once, we recommend skipping dessert: Argoti’s culinary blitzkrieg works better with savory, not sweet, flavors.
Button Mash has over 100 machines from the '70s to '90s, but they keep around 50 on the floor at one time, rotating the games in so there's always something new. Frogger, Tron, Donkey Kong, Food Fight, Michael Jackson's Moonwalker are just a sampling that populate the floor (some even have second, hidden games!), and a row of pinball machines have their own section by the bar. Artist Joseph Harmon came up with the shiny tokens that display an arcade machine on one side and Button Mash's goofy-looking dog mascot on the other. Each game takes one token, the pinball machines take two, and you can buy $5 and $10 rolls from the bar. And don't worry—just because there's a bar doesn't mean the kids can't partake in the fun. Button Mash welcomes children of all ages to play games until 9pm; after 9pm, it's 21+.