Former Lazy Bear chef Automat’s highly anticipated SF restaurant is here. Here are 5 things to try

Former Lazy Bear chef Matthew Kirk pulls out pretzel focaccia buns and fried chicken sandwiches at his newly opened Automat restaurant.

The highly anticipated spot, located at 1801 McAllister St. in the Western Addition of San Francisco, opened Wednesday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

While the day is a casual affair of bread, pastries and sandwiches, dinner will see more ambitious entrees paired with multiple sides. David Barzelay, owner of Lazy Bear and partner of Automat, described it as “like a fix price but not fancy” at The Chronicle earlier this year. Current dinner choices include grilled pastrami ribs ($ 65), seafood and celeriac chowder with grilled sturgeon and clam tots ($ 55), and grilled carrots on spinach. parsnip cream ($ 45).

Expect the menu to expand in the coming weeks as well as hours. Automat intends to become a daily operation in January.

The light space is full of natural nighttime, with cabin seating, counter service, and pops of green and pink. A key goal for Kirk was to make the restaurant family-friendly, with dishes that appeal to all ages – and a baby diaper change station in the bathroom.

Here are five dishes to try from the daily menu:

fried chicken sandwich with seaweed aioli on a soft milk bun.”/>

Automatic fried chicken sandwich with seaweed aioli on a soft milk bun.

Elena Kadvany / The Chronicle

Hot Fried Chicken California Sandwich ($ 15): Back in the days of Autom’s pop-ups, Kirk launched a version of this fried chicken sandwich and it became a quick hit. It has since evolved, with a more subtle seaweed aioli instead of the old seaweed green goddess dressing that mixed with the crisp and airy fried chicken. And although it’s called “hot,” it’s not Nashville style, scorching from the inside out. The spice is balanced by crunchy maple chunks and a light red coleslaw, all on a soft milk bun.

The Automat breakfast sandwich with chili herb cheese, breakfast sausage and an egg on fresh wondermat bread.

The Automat breakfast sandwich with chili herb cheese, breakfast sausage and an egg on fresh wondermat bread.

Elena Kadvany / The Chronicle

Automated Breakfast Sandwich ($ 13): This is a dish for chili cheese lovers. The compact sandwich is chock-full of herb cheese, eggs, and a rack of juicy breakfast sausage. The best part might be the Buttery Toasted Wondermat Bread, Autom’s version of classic white bread. Pro tip: Ask for a bottle of homemade hot sauce, topped with koji, the umami-rich mushrooms used to make soy sauce, miso, and sake.

This garlic pretzel focaccia is one of the many fresh bread options at Automat.

This garlic pretzel focaccia is one of the many fresh bread options at Automat.

Elena Kadvany / The Chronicle

Garlic pretzel focaccia ($ 12): The Automat team cleverly displays one of their prettiest buns in the terrazzo pastry case: a giant circle of garlic pretzel focaccia, so sparkling and shiny it has it. alive air. It’s deeply flavorful, channeling the taste of a pretzel (including large flakes of salt) in the form of focaccia. Those who bought Kirk’s pizza box-sized focaccia buns during the pandemic will be happy to see that he didn’t sacrifice size in the new restaurant.

The brioche donut filled with pastry cream rather at Automat in San Francisco.

The brioche donut filled with pastry cream rather at Automat in San Francisco.

Elena Kadvany / The Chronicle

brioche donut ($ 5): The morning pastry crate is topped with mouthwatering treats, including a rotating brioche donut. Light, soft and coated in sugar, the Wednesday donut was filled with a rather slightly tasty pastry cream.

Automat's blondie is made with miso, white chocolate and strawberries.

Automat’s blondie is made with miso, white chocolate and strawberries.

Janelle Bitker / The Chronicle

blonde hair ($ 4): A deliciously chewy white chocolate blondie gets a savory hit of miso. The top is sprinkled with a strawberry powder, adding a little fruitiness. Pair it with a cappuccino made with beans from San Francisco’s Andytown coffee, or with Autom’s cold brew or homemade kombucha.

Automat. 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday. 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday. . 1801 McAllister Street, San Francisco. automatsf.com

Janelle Bitker and Elena Kadvany are editors of the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] and [email protected]


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