I ventured into VODVIL - a restaurant, nightclub and karaoke bar dedicated to playing games. VODVIL recently opened its doors in the Fairfax District, and alongside gourmet sliders and playful cocktails, a little "friendly competition" is also on the menu.
"VODVIL is all about fun. So every night when you come into VODVIL, there's going to be a different experience," said Cal Iseminger, Director of Entertainment at VODVIL. "We've got a whole list of different games we're going to be doing, and different nights have different themes."
Patrons can expect wordplay games, pop culture trivia, along with classic party games, such as charades and "Name That Tune."
A new game starts about every 15 minutes, and perky hosts keep the party going. The games are free, and you can play against your friends or other tables. You can even win prizes.
"I love it. It's my first time here. It's been amazing," said VODVIL gamer Katie from Los Angeles. "The food's great, the drinks, the games, it's fun!"
"Top Chef" alum Jamie Lauren specifically created a fun, delicious menu to complement the gaming.
"The menu is designed to be kind of shared-style, simple, because we don't want to infringe on the games while the games are being played," said Lauren.
VODVIL guests will find fried pickles and pickled deviled eggs on the menu. Also look out for the popular "pigs in a blanket" with homemade mustard, pretzel bites in cheese, spicy fried chickpeas and Indian-inspired lamb sliders. Classic comforts like chicken pot pies and turkey Sloppy Joes complete the picture.
Iseminger said guests are not required to participate in the games. Folks can just eat and watch.
But as Brian Nesbitt of Mid-City experienced firsthand, once the games take the spotlight, the excitement is addictive.
"It's just that feeling of when you were a kid playing games," said Nesbitt. "It immediately gets you in the mode of fun and competitiveness."
Amy from Studio City visited VODVIL with several of her girlfriends, and they call themselves "Team Murphy." I sat with them for a while and observed the ladies hooting and high-fiving, really getting into the game called "Celebrity."
There are separate rooms for private events, as well as "VODVIL-TO-GO," where gaming hosts will bring the competition to your private party at your home or office!
Iseminger has hosted multiple game nights for celebrities, as well as customized game nights for bachelorette parties and corporate events.
"Every time I've hosted a game night, you have these people that are like, 'I don't know about this,' and every single time at the end of the night, they're like, 'That was the most fun I've ever had, can't wait to do it again!'" said Iseminger.
VODVIL will make the party, we just get to show up and enjoy!