After multiple setbacks due to the pandemic, Automat is finally open!
Automat is a new bakery and restaurant coming from my former coworker and boss from Lazy Bear. The vibe is pretty laid back with a spacious dining room and display case for the daytime for their baked goods. During the day, they sell various breads and pastries as well as some savory lunch items. At night, it’s a full service restaurant with a totally different menu. The food is a take on nostalgic American classics with a Californian twist.
We came for dinner and had a little trouble picking what to order since a lot of the dishes sounded intriguing. After much deliberation, we finally ordered!
Of course we had to try some of their baked breads and this focaccia did not disappoint. The garlicky spread on top just made the bread even more delicious.
This fluffy yet crispy pancake had a nice tang from the sourdough. The sprinkling of cheese added saltiness and umami. So good.
The sweetness from the sweet potato with the saltiness from the Mt. Tam cheese whizz sauce paired so well together. The salsa macha (a sauce made with nuts and dried chiles) added some heat and the pepitas added a necessary crunch.
The first gift from the kitchen were these silky roasted peppers in a fermented pepper sauce with gooey Stracciatella cheese and fresh basil.
Another gift from the kitchen was this beet salad with chicories, chicken larb, and sourdough croutons in a Thai basil lime vinaigrette. The pieces of beet were quite large, making it slightly difficult to eat. I also would have liked the vinaigrette to be more pungent with that funky fish sauce flavor profile to hold up against the strong flavors of the beet and chicories.
The kitchen was hooking us up on this night and we cannot complain. I’m so happy that they sent us this fried chicken thigh as it happened to be one of my favorite dishes of the night. The thigh was super tender and juicy and the exterior was so crunchy and dusted in a spice mix. The bread & butter pickles added a nice contrast to the fatty fried chicken.
These french fries were dusted in a pickle spice.
I enjoyed this vegetarian dish where cabbage was the star. The brown butter basted cabbage was glazed in a carrot A1 sauce and nestled on top of crispy fried leeks.
A tasty lettuce wrap where the short rib was reminiscent of pastrami and served with dill pickled onions and horseradish white BBQ sauce.
This was such a fun take on the nostalgic kids snack “ants on a log”. The creamy buttermilk panna cotta was topped with refreshing herbaceous celery granita, roasted sweet grapes, and a peanut brittle. Creative and yummy!
This sourdough chocolate chip cookie was spot on. Slightly crispy on the edges and soft and chewy in the middle.
Our last gift of this night was the brick toast and it happened to be another favorite of the night. Thick sliced bread was heavily toasted and topped with a maple flavored candy cap (a type of mushroom) custard. It was so good.
Without a doubt their strongest dishes involved baked goods which I’m not surprised. With that being said, I definitely want to come back for lunch to order more of their bakery items as it seems like that’s their forte. Overall, we had a wonderful dinner and of course all the gifts from the kitchen were much appreciated! Therefore, my rating is an 8-8.5/10.