From 1989 to 1993, Saved by the Bell ruled the television sphere for most teenagers. With characters that were easily relatable, most kids growing up during the early 90s were able to easily identify with either Zack, Screech, Lisa, Kelly, Jessie or Slater. The show ended up becoming a smash hit and even had spin-off’s that showed the beloved characters in college. It’s been a long time since I’ve watched Saved by the Bell, but the one thing that always stayed seared in my brain was their favorite hangout spot, The Max.
Last month, I had the chance to check out the aptly titled SAVED BY THE MAX pop-up diner located in Hollywood, California. This experience brings to life The Max, a fully immersive diner that allows guests the chance to relive the glorious early 90’s from one of their favorite shows. The diner offers an array of food items prepared by Michelin Star Chef Brian Fisher of Entente and guests have the choice of dining inside the Max or within Principal Belding’s office. Situated all throughout the space is memorabilia from the show along with arcade games and Instagram-worthy picture spots.
Arriving for our 8pm reservation, my writer Danielle and I were promptly taken to our seats to begin our meal. It’s important to note that reservations are $40 and include appetizer and entree. Pre-paid reservations must be made for either brunch or dinner, but since we were there for dinner, that’s what I’ll be focusing on. Once seated in The Max, we were handed our menus which included food items named by some of characters from the show. Up first was our appetizer, titled Mac & Screech which was described as their “locker stuffing macaroni and cheese”. Following this was our entree, in which we both ordered the Bayside Burger, which had a Vegetarian option for Danielle. The burger is described as an “American classic, topped with American Cheese, Kewpie mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato and red onion on a sesame seed english muffin with your choice of side.” For our side – we indulged in Mr. Belding’s fries. Once we finished our delicious burgers we decided to satiate our sweet tooth and ordered Max’s Magical Sweet Tooth. This was a sight to behold as it included a churro waffle, vanilla ice cream and chocolate Jameson salted caramel.
To say the food was delicious would be an understatement. Both Danielle and I definitely indulged and though on the surface it looked like any run-of-the-mill diner food, it was prepared in a way that elevated its taste with the use of special ingredients and preparation. After we had finished our dining experience, we decided to roam about The Max and do what any millennial would do – take lots of pictures for the interwebs. SAVED BY THE MAX is definitely a hotspot to take photos of oneself – whether alone or with giant cutout heads of characters from the show. We started in Principal Belding’s office and then made our way back out into The Max where we found an ancient payphone followed by rows of lockers each equipped with props that corresponded with each character. Looking around, it was quite obvious to see how much people were enjoying the immersive quality that SAVED BY THE MAX offered as well as all the unique photo opportunities given.
Overall, SAVED BY THE MAX was a unique experience that offered more than just your average pop-up would. Though the price may seem steep, it’s important to remember that it does include some of the food offerings as well as the incredibly detailed atmosphere. If you are a fan of Saved by the Bell, this is definitely going to be an event you won’t want to miss. Even those who aren’t a fan of the show, or who aren’t overly familiar with it, will find a lot to enjoy. As of now, SAVED BY THE MAX has reservations up until March, so schedule your time now before it’s gone for good! For more information visit www.savedbythemax.com.