One of gaming's biggest convention the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is nearly upon us. This year both the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the organization that puts on E3, and Electronic Arts (EA), one of the biggest publishers of video games in the world, are holding consumer facing events in addition to the more Industry focused E3. What this means is that there may be a great deal more video game enthusiasts contemplating a visit to the greater Los Angeles area in the near future than in past years. In the spirit of hospitality I thought I’d offer a few suggestions of interesting places to go in the area that may be left out off the more typical vacation itinerary.
Grill ‘em All - This place probably has the best burgers in LA. Also the whole place has a Heavy Metal theme so burgers have names like Metalica and Napalm Death. I know that sounds a bit tourist trappy but trust me this place is genuine and genuinely awesome. They started off as a food truck and were popular enough to graduate to an actual brick and mortar eatery that not only serves amazing food but also hosts great live events. There's also an excellent vegetarian option for metal heads who don't eat meat.
Game Haüs Cafe - Here you’ll have access to a library of literally hundreds of board and tabletop games for a nominal cover charge of $10. One of Kickstarter's many gifts, Game Haüs is a great place to sit and play games provided you can get a table. They do take reservations and I highly recommend that you make one. Also, some of the best coffee in LA, I know we’re not known for coffee here but this stuff is serious.
Donut Friend - I know that not absolutely everybody is a fan of fancy donuts. I also know that those people who aren’t fans are sad, soulless, savages who can’t appreciate a good thing made better, but I digress. In addition, all the donuts are gluten free so those poor souls who happen to be allergic can still partake in these delicious treats. Donut Friend has the best donuts in LA hands down end of discussion.
Meltdown Comics - Even If you’re not into comics this shop has something for you with all kinds of Sci Fi, Fantasy and Pop Culture inspired collectibles on offer from helpful staff members. And if you do like comics the place is even better with all kids of books and collectibles. After dark, the shop houses a small theater space where some excellent stand-up comedy and sketch shows take place. Tickets to shows can be hard to come-by but good luck has been had in the standby line.
EightyTwo/Button Mash - LA has two excellent Barcades not too far from the convention center. So if you sometimes miss old arcade games or would like to experience gaming history in an atmosphere that includes booze I highly recommend either location. I Do recommend avoiding Button Mash when there’s a Dodgers game, though. It is located perilously close to The baseball stadium. You could probably walk to Eighty two from the convention center though.
BiergartenLA - Have you ever wondered what a German Beer hall would be like if it was built in the middle of LA’s Koreatown. Well someone else clearly did because that’s what BiergartenLA essentially is. The beer is great, as is the Korean/German fusion food; think Bratwurst with kimchi instead of sauerkraut. Also, like a lot of bars, BiergartenLA sports several big screen TVs. Unlike other bars, however, if you go to BiergartenLA on the right night those TVs will be showing eSports of the Korean variety.
So there you have it that's my list of recommendations for all you folks heading to LA for this year's E3. Good luck, have fun and welcome to LA!