Ask anyone who had a high score on Asteroids 'round about 1983 what their go-to victory meal was, after an especially heated battle spent dispensing rocks hurling through deep space, and they will tell you, to an ingredient, what they ate and drank: a raspberry slushie, a bag of sour cream and onion potato chips, and a handful of Pez.
Food and arcading are as tight a pair as Mr. and Ms. Pac-Man, but the cuisine scene in some of the modern versions of old-school video-gameries have gone far beyond the chip-backed vending machine.
Look to The One Up, which made its recently bowed in Sherman Oaks with "15 arcades offering over 400 FREE GAMES" and an interesting, swank-but-not-too-serious menu that's completely devoid of raspberry slushies and Pez but does include craft beers, lovely cocktails, and a whole bunch of nice bites that'll fuel your next Centipede run.
On the food front? Local Sweet Corn Hushpuppies, Goat Cheese Tots, and Short Rib Crostini go way beyond the chip bag. As for drinks? A Dill-Lighted sip goes with St. George gin, dill and cuke (both fresh), plus lime, soda, and St. Germaine. Local beers, like the Eagle Rock Black Mild Ale, are on tap.
We won't malign you slushie, ever, swearsies, but sometimes an arcadist, of age, prefers a refreshing brew post-Space Invaders.
Games arrive vertically and horizontally. If you can think it, it's likely on this list. Defender? Galaxian? Dig Dug? We could happily sit here typing game names, followed by question marks, for the next several paragraphs, but we need to keep our fingers limber for joystick action. It's best if you eyeball the lengthy list out on your own time.
(Is it as long as Pac-Man's path is ghosty? We'll let you determine if that comparison fits, once you see the game list.) (It totally does.)
Nope, the '80s aren't over -- The Cure and Simply Red are shouted-out on The One Up's stylish, neon-moody site -- and we wouldn't want them to be, fully. We had fun, those who didn't arcade-it-up the first time around adore the decade, mostly, and we're still trying to get over our first raspberry slushie headache.
Better go play Donkey Kong again, to work the brain freeze out.