Let us set aside the pernicious creep of the phrase “complimentary water,” the drink menus dispensed like Moses’ tablets, and the denial of a perimeter booth in the empty room because they were “reserved for hotel guests.” It’s nice, if a little L.A., to begin a meal with crudités, but the green tahini sauce was hidden underneath a piece of lettuce, only to be discovered once most of the vegetables had been eaten. Continuing the healthful theme was a Farmer’s Board of red-quinoa tabouli, spicy smashed sweet potato, avocado hummus, and beets with “grains of paradise,” a peppery seed from West Africa. The sweet potato showed up again, later, with the best of the entrées—a roast chicken—and that’s fine, because it was interesting and smoky, and somehow tasted like bacon. The chunky consistency of the avocado hummus made it inferior to guacamole, and the crispy buckwheat crackers were too fragile to dip into it, in any case. Other problems showed up before the mains: a heavy-handed approach to a citrus dressing on a fennel salad; a cauliflower custard with a striking resemblance to scrambled eggs; and a salad in which artichokes were cut into spiky, fibrous slivers, and were tough to eat.

Amelia Lester, “Margaux, at the Marlton Hotel”