Berkley Eatery Offers Automated Fast Food With a Healthy Twist



By Tom Lochner,

POSTED:   08/08/2016 06:37:14 PM PDT | UPDATED:   3 DAYS AGO

BERKELEY -- A small chain eatery that bills itself as "the unprecedented, fully-automated fast food experience" opened this week at 2334 Telegraph Ave., half a block south of the UC Berkeley campus.

It was the East Bay debut of Eatsa, which already has two stores in San Francisco and another in Los Angeles. Eatsa offers a variety of quinoa-based salads and other quinoa concoctions at lunch and dinner. You can order on an iPad at the store or on your own phone (it worked on iPhones Monday, and will work on Androids soon, employee Keiliyah Robinson said).

In short order, "your made-to-order bowl shows up lightning-fast in your own personalized cubby," the company website trumpets. "It's pure magic."

Keiliyah Robinson welcomes customers on Monday, Aug. 8 to Eatsa, a new eatery on Telegraph Avenue that serves quinoa-based dishes as part of its "fully automated fast food experience."

Lunch and dinner bowls all cost $6.95. A sampling:

The Mediterranean. Contains dairy; contains gluten; served cold.  It consists of pita chips, arugula, feta cheese, tomato, cucumber, artichoke hearts, dill yogurt sauce, Greek-style quinoa, Kalamata olives, marinated chickpeas.

There's also the Cantina Kale Salad, Smokehouse Salad, Spice Market Bowl, Burrito Bowl, Bento Bowl, No Worry Curry and Chili con Quinoa, as well as beverages and sides. More information is available at

Nutrition information is available at a click. The Mediterranean has 527 calories, 22 grams of protein, 14 grams of fat, 1,102 milligrams of sodium, 3 grams of saturated fat, 81 grams of carbs, 15 grams of fiber and 12 grams of sugar.

"We think we've done a good job creating a product that has the appropriate amounts of sodium, fat, calories and protein," said Eatsa co-founder and chief design officer Scott Drummond, who was at the store Monday.

If the sodium content of the Bento Bowl ("A quinoa spin on classic teriyaki") may not strike everyone as perfect, at 1,361 milligrams, that's because, Drummond explained, "it's hard to make a teriyaki that's light on sodium."

"Everybody has a different definition of healthy," he added.

Eatsa held its "soft opening" on Monday and will hold its grand opening Aug. 23.

"Our business model is ideal for the hungry college student looking for a high-quality, hearty meal that's quick and affordable," Drummond said in a news release from Eatsa's publicist.

Contact Tom Lochner at 510-262-2760. Follow him at