We had a nice experience at Toast in Novato.
Disclaimer: I do not have much experience with this kind of place -- I usually go to cheap ethnic dives.
However, friends recommended this and were correct; I enjoyed it.
It is in a new mall right near Hwy 101. Ample parking of course.
American food. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner every day.
Free corkage, always. A big plus for us. They have a wine and beer list, looks inexpensive.
They do not take reservations.
Kid-friendly: they provide toys and have a kids menu. There were several families with children and they were not at all disruptive.
Outdoor dining in the front. It was too hot to eat outside when we arrived in the early evening, but as we left at sunset the outdoor tables were full.
It was noisy; we were fortunate in being seated against the back wall, so the six of us could have some conversation.
Service was friendly and efficient.
Website (WARNING: annoying Flash interface with loud music) http://www.toastnovato.com/
The menu is large, includes "starters", pizza (we shared the "green" with spinach and ricotta), sandwiches, lots of salads, soups, "classics", sides, desserts. About 60 items I estimate.
From the "classics" menu, I ordered the Smoked Chipotle B.B.Q. Ribs, falling off the bone. The accompanying slaw and black beans were adequate. $14.95
Here is the "main" part of the dinner menu, just to give you an idea:
Herb Crusted Halibut. Braised fennel and artichoke, Yukon gold potatoes, roasted golden tomato puree. 17.95
Chilli Rubbed Grilled Salmon. Sweet corn succotash, roasted red pepper vinaigrette, watercress. 14.95
Grilled Marinated Lamb Chops. Roasted garlic mashed potatoes, grilled vegetables, lamb jus & fried onions.17.95
Brick Chicken. Half chicken, deboned, with potato dumplings, spinach & natural jus. 13.95
Pan Roasted Grass-Fed Sterling New York. Baby jeweled tomatoes, garlic thyme butter, asparagus, grilled Yukon gold potatoes.19.95
Thread on places with no corkage:
5800 Nave Dr, Novato, CA 94949