As @jeremiahc4 and @srioux mentioned in the comments, fixing the app scoping addressed a similar problem I had where I was receiving an ERROR LookupOperator - The lookup table... error.
Go to Settings > Lookups > Automatic Lookups and ensure that the Sharing for your automatic lookup is set to App, not Global. Prior to this I had noticed that the lookup didn't exist in my app's local.meta file either, and after I set the permissions from Global to App it appeared correctly.
Did you add an automatic lookup called "dropdownsLookup" in a different app? Apparently even though you add a lookup in an app, other apps can see it if you define it by a common sourcetype. At least that is my experience at the moment. I asked a similar question recently.