Fast Food Grows Up

Proving that fresh and nutritious food doesn’t have to cost a fortune or take forever to prepare, Eatsa and its futuristic, fully-automated “quinoa bowl” concept restaurant gears up to open at The Village at Westfield Topanga in Woodland Hills this December.

Many call it the true birth of fast food in America, and we’re not referring to the significant commercial influence of the famous “golden arches.” While most likely a name unrecognizable to a millennium-esque generation, the concept of the “automat” in the U.S. was inspired by Max Sielaff’s AUTOMAT Restaurants in Berlin, wherein simple foods and beverages were served in vending machine-like apparatuses. The first automat in the U.S. was opened on June 12, 1902 in Philadelphia by Horn & Hardart, eventually coming to New York City in 1912 where it became part of popular culture in northern industrial cities. The format was ultimately threatened by the arrival of the fast food concept we know today, served over the counter and with more payment flexibility than traditional automats.

Much like the “turntable revival” that has swept many parts of the world, no one would have thought the concept of an automat would return to popularity. In many ways, that’s exactly what has happened since Eatsa, a European-style automat approach, announced the launch of its futuristic, fully-automated “quinoa bowl” concept restaurants, the flagship location of which resides in San Francisco’s Financial District. In a more recent announcement, Eatsa plans to bring its super high-tech “quinoa-to-go” idea to the stunning Village at Westfield Topanga in Woodland Hills this December, allowing patrons to either order their food from iPads at the site or through their phones, and pick it up from a cubby when its ready.

“It’s time to change fast food for the better – forever,” says Eatsa’s owner, a lifelong vegetarian and passionate apostle of quinoa. “Our goal was to open a fast food restaurant that aimed to be healthier, tastier and less expensive because we have come to realize that fresh and nutritious food doesn’t have to cost a fortune or take forever to prepare. At Eatsa, we’ve upped the taste factor alongside affordability and speed, fusing bold flavors, seasonal ingredients and hearty portions. Our commitment to the California community is evident in our recent expansion to The Village at Westfield Topanga: Faster, more nutritious, more affordable and tastier food when on-the-go.”

At the heart of Eatsa’s menu is quinoa, a complete cholesterol and gluten-free protein boasting all the amino acids necessary for human nutrition, and unlike other “superfoods,” it is a staple and not limited to a topping or supplement. In this way, the protein can absorb flavors and sauces, making it the perfect base, according to Eatsa representatives, for “all kinds of deliciousness.” The menu staples are $7 vegetarian bowls that use quinoa as a base, with variations including the Burrito Bowl (Mexican-style with guacamole, “asada” Portobello and pinto beans), the Bento Box (Asian-fusion with edamame, teriyaki sauce, miso Portobello and apple cabbage slaw) and The Big Chop (chopped-style salad with pecans, blue cheese and ranch dressing).

By ordering on an in-store iPad or a mobile phone, patrons avoid a cashier and lines and can pick up their made-to-order bowl in their own personalized cubby. Further, previous orders are saved, making future ordering incredibly fast, while a personalized menu is data-driven by the community frequenting the Eatsa restaurant, yielding “effortless rewards” for the valued customer.

Eatsa at The Village at Westfield Topanga will reside on Level 1 of the trend-setting retail, dining and entertainment destination in Woodland Hills, with more information available by visiting and