Our Critics' Picks


Button Mash

1391 Sunset Blvd.
Echo Park, California 90026
Critics' Pick
Best Of
Button Mash +

Anne Fishbein Double-fried ginger chicken wings


  • Tue.-Thu., 5 p.m.-mid.; Fri., 5 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sat., 4 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sun., 4 p.m.-mid. 21+ after 9 p.m.
  • Late Night
  • Beer/Wine
  • Kid Friendly
There’s something about Button Mash and its dinging, ringing energy that is massively appealing, even if you’re not here to take advantage of the old-school video and pinball games that line the walls. Button Mash is as much a bar and restaurant as it is an arcade, and as long as the cacophony of games and pinball machines doesn’t bother you, it’s a pretty enjoyable place to eat and drink and people-watch. The involvement of Starry Kitchen, the beloved on-again-off-again pop-up/restaurant, is an obvious draw, though this food isn’t an exact replica of what was served at any of Starry Kitchen’s iterations. The menu is more like a greatest-hits album of Asian and American drunk food. There are crispy tofu balls and appropriately lacquered double-fried chicken wings, which you can get in a number of flavors: tamarind, ginger or a “tangy” version made with gochujang. There’s a cheeseburger that, like the games, is pure old-school nostalgia. A lot of thought has gone into this thing, from the way the ingredients are stacked (mustard, meat, American cheese, Boston lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle) to the intense crisp on the patties. It’s really tall and really good in a really base kind of way. If it turns out that this is the new face of Echo Park’s dining scene, maybe that’s a good thing. When your burgers and beer come wrapped in such original, joyful revelry — with tofu balls and Galaga thrown in for good measure — it somehow feels fresher than half the serious restaurants in town. —Besha Rodell

Read our full review.

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