Good news, Echo Park: the seven-year-old Button Mash is back starting tonight. The ever-popular arcade bar on Sunset has been in somewhat of a state of limbo for the past couple of years (as have many other businesses and restaurants), trying to navigate the pandemic, changing service needs, and more. Now, the games are turning back on.
What’s more, Button Mash has found a beloved new partner for its culinary side in Tacos 1986. The former street stand stars have now opened multiple locations across the Los Angeles region and will be running the kitchen inside Button Mash’s strip mall space beginning tonight at 5 p.m. While a full menu has not yet been revealed, expect much the same carne asada, handmade tortillas, and adobada that have made the place so successful already. The restaurant side of Button Mash was previously anchored by food from a different former underground option, Starry Kitchen.
Eater reached out to Button Mash owner Jordan Weiss earlier this week to discuss rumors of the upcoming reopening but has not heard back. Weiss has mostly stayed under the radar throughout the pandemic, as bars and indoor public spaces faced months of uncertainty and only limited government assistance. Back in 2021, Weiss told Eater that he felt like his business was left “dangling in the wind” without more robust federal financial intervention. That is still the case for many businesses, particularly as eviction moratoriums on commercial tenants have gone away in Los Angeles. Just this month, Valley legend Henry’s Tacos was apparently removed from its walk-up space over a failure to pay back rent as a result of the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.
But for now, with COVID cases remaining relatively low in Los Angeles, and no more mask or vaccination requirements at most facilities, it can feel like old times again. And that, for fans of Button Mash, arcade games, and Tacos 1986, is a very good thing. Button Mash reopens tonight at 1391 Sunset Boulevard, starting at 5 p.m.