The latest review from the Chronicle's new food critic brings her to new robotic burger outfit Creator in SoMa, where she finds some tasty, moist (if well done) burgers at a very attractive price point.
Some people have been a bit sketched out by the big burger robot that dominates the space at Creator's 680 Folsom Street location. The place is the brainchild of Top Chef and Acquerello alum Tu David Phu and former Bar Tartine chef Nick Balla, and if all goes well this is just the first of what could be many locations manned with minimal effort.
Ho notes that she was greeted by a human immediately upon arriving, ready to take her order and feed it into the big, tube-filled burger-making machine. She says she was also "struck by how much thought was put into the design of the restaurant: the sheer amount of work invested in distancing the experience from apocalyptic visions of robot takeovers and human obsolescence."
The machine itself is elegantly designed, on curved wooden footings — not at all a big clanking, metal monster. And Ho notes the books lining the wall, and the airy, plant-filled room as efforts to warm things up.
In addition to the juicy 1/4-pound burgers — made with pasture-raised brisket and chuck from Country Natural Beef and Creekstone Farms — she finds some "competent" fries and decent off-menu fried okra.
And in what seems to be some new thing they're trying, she has embedded a playlist with the online version of the review. She did this previously in her review of Oakland's Nyum Bai, and there it made a little more sense — part of her review was devoted to the charming, retro soundtrack of pre Khmer Rouge Cambodian psychedelic rock that plays in the restaurant.
For Creator, Ho presents an "inspired by" playlist that includes "The Burger Song" by Skee-Lo, "Creator" by Santigold, a splash of DEVO and Stereolab, and Lindsay Buckingham's "Go Insane." Do with that what you will.