After a long day at a conference my wife was too tired to walk or go anywhere for dinner, so we just decided to try the Hilton's hotel restaurant downstairs called the Urban Tavern. We didn't have reservations, but we were seated right away. The decor struck me as kind of odd, with seat coverings that had lots of holes in it, and artwork that was kind of weird, at least to me, fully realizing that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. The full wall mirror at one end of the restaurant was kind of cool however, because it was tilted towards the room. After our orders were taken, bread was brought out. The crust was crispy, but the bread seemed tasteless, like it had very little or no salt in the dough. I had the Crab & Greens salad ($17) with chicory, watermelon radish (nice, unique appearance!), little gem fennel, and Dungeness crab with a yuzu vinaigrette dressing. The crab had little flavor and no salt, and the dressing had very little flavor as well. My wife had the Fish & Chips ($24) made with Pacific cod and Anchor Steam beer batter, cucumber-fennel slaw and fried potato slices (chips). Her order came with 4 pieces of cod that had a crisp batter (very nice!), but the fish didn't seem to have much flavor or salt. The cucumber-fennel slaw also had very little flavor, salt or sugar. The food was all presented attractively, but maybe the cook was on a low salt, low sugar kick? If you like your food that way, then you'll like the food here, but otherwise, you might be disappointed. Service was decent, but could be friendlier. Prices seemed high for what we ordered, but that is to be expected for a downtown SF hotel restaurant. Like others have written, there are other very good restaurants in the downtown SF area that would be more enjoyable than the Urban Tavern. The disappointing food was offset by convenience if you're staying at the hotel, so I give this restaurant an average rating.
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