Herb N' Kitchen

Overall Rating: 3.750

Address: 333 O'Farrell St.
Cross Street(s): Btwn Taylor & Mason Sts., in the Hilton Union Square
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94102
Neighborhood: Union Square
Phone: 415.771.1400
Hours: Su-Sa 12am-12am
Type of Establishment: Cafe (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 3.00
Barista: 2
Savvy: 3
Ambiance: 5
Presentation: 2
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: La Marzocco
Coffee Rating: 4.50
Aroma: 5
Body: 6
Brightness: 5
Crema: 2
Flavor: 6
Taster's Correction: -1.5
Size: M
Primary Taste: Smoky
Coffee Beans: Illy
Cup Manufacturer: Paper
Price: $2.75
Last Update: 08/29/2016
First Reviewed: 08/29/2016
Notes: None

This Hilton hotel casual restaurant concept was some executive wizard's genius idea for how Hilton can dominate the hotel business and rake in the bucks instead of deferring people to nearby Starbucks or eateries. They've pretty much failed. Located at the entrance floor of the Union Square Hilton, it reminds one of a glorified airport caf´┐Ż -- from its packaged sandwiches, exhorbitant prices, unskilled laborforce, and crummy coffee. What's most disappointing is that Illy is behind this -- even down to the level of labeling it with "Artisti del Gusto" recognition. The only artists here are performance artists emulating a Newark, New Jersey airport coffee shop. In addition to the pastries and refrigerated and prepackaged food in back, there are big Illy cans feeding their coffee service. A two-group, red La Marzocco FB/70 is on display, but in unskilled hands they produce espresso with a scant, medium brown crema that's completely balding: it's a whisper of brown film over a dark liquid. The aroma is faint and competes with the cardboard cup they serve it in. It has a mild form of the expected Illy flavor, tasting underdosed and leaning more towards smoke and ash. Embarrassing for the Illy brand and their quality controls, really. They should also charge no more than $1 for a shot of this poor quality.