Eatsa at The Village at Topanga – The Future of Lunch?


The hustle and bustle of the holiday season may take you to the The Village in Woodland Hills, the new outdoor mall on Topanga Canyon. If you’re hungry, pop into Eatsa and check it out: it’s a fully automated little indentation in the Topanga side of things that makes healthy, delicious food to go.


When I visited last week, staff were on hand to educate passersby about this unique little eatery. Here’s how it works.


Order your food from the iPad – you can select from a number of creatively designed quinoa bowls or salads, or build your own. I chose the Burrito Bowl – Guacamole, Salsa Fresca, Queso Mexicano, Asada Portabello, Grilled Corn, Warm Lemon-Herb Toasted Quinoa, Tortilla Chips, Seasoned Pinto Beans, but because everything is customizable I removed the queso, since I wanted to be dairy-free.


Then I ordered a beverage too, eatsa’s popular cucumber and melon soda, that only has 9 grams of sugar per serving. Why not? You swipe your card alongside the screen to pay. Then your name shows up on a screen on the back wall above the food cubbies.


When your meal is ready, the screen on the door of a cubby flashes your name and number, saying “Tap twice to open.” Then the door opens upward like a garage door, and voila! Your meal is revealed.



Utensils and napkins are available in slots in the wall on the right. Tables for enjoying your meal are arranged outside, or you can take your food to go. There will be an app that you can use to order in advance, and then you can just go quickly pick up your food, parking in the special eatsa spaces out front.

While it is conceivable that this entire transaction can take place without looking at or speaking to a human, the local eatsa manager and other staff were lovely and helpful. So what about the food?

Well, as a recent convert into the quinoa-loving crow (I have a Pinterest board devoted to it, and I make this recipe several times a month), I told eatsa CEO Tim Young that I am the choir he is preaching to. Fast food doesn’t have to be unhealthy, he believes. (Or expensive. The bowls start at $6.95 each.) Eatsa serves up bowls made with nutritious ingredients. My burrito bowl was delicious and I was so hungry I forgot to take a picture of it before I shook up the ingredients to combine them. So here is the eatsa photo:

bowl_burritoAll of the dishes are displayed on the iPad for you to see before you select. I was in the mood for guacamole that day, I guess. It was a combination of foods that I hadn’t thought of before and I LOVED it! Can’t wait to bring my kids, because they’ll dig the iPad ordering process, and my husband will definitely compare it to the Jetsons-type predictions of the future. Well, here it is. The future is now.

at The Village at Westfield Topanga
6320 Topanga Canyon Blvd.
Woodland Hills

New Year’s Resolution: If It Must Be Fast Food, Make It Veggie Grill

veggie grill westlake village
Our family was delighted when Veggie Grill opened up a location right here in Westlake Village.

Specifically, my 6-year-old son Brady was delighted. You see, he believes that Veggie Grill makes the world’s best macaroni and cheese, his favorite food.

He will not hear it if you try to tell him that it’s not actually cheese, and the macaroni is made out of quinoa.

In fact, everything at Veggie Grill is made with a non-dairy, meat-free substitute…or it’s just made out of vegetables. The mantra of the company is “We do our best to fuel you with delicious, nutritious calories.”

Brady and I attended an opening preview night of this newest location, and we got to sample a lot of different dishes. Well, Brady pretty much stuck with mac & cheese and pudding for dessert. But I took several bites of many things, and brought items home for my husband to taste, too.

veggie grill food

Standouts included:

Kale Caesar salad topped with Tempeh bacon, which, I swear to you, tastes just like bacon.

Sweet potato fries

Grillin Chickin’ sandwich – the patty didn’t actually taste like chicken (neither did the “chicken” fingers) but the sandwich’s toppings combined with the patty made a very satisfying meal

Carrot cake – the best I’ve ever tasted, really

I’ve also eaten at the Encino location, and there I tried the portabello mushroom sandwich, which was quite delicious. Brady loves the array of lemonades and iced teas, but he always opted for strawberry lemonade instead of trying more than one.

veggie grill drinks

At Veggie Grill you can get a quick, healthy meal in a fast casual setting. It’s in the same plaza as Trader Joe’s, so good luck finding parking, but once you’re in, it’s definitely worth it. And a bonus for being in Ventura County? They serve alcohol.

Veggie Grill
3825 East Thousand Oaks Blvd.
Westlake Village, CA 91362