For decades, the wedding cake design of the Hyatt Regency hotel has been part of the city’s central business district and convention center. More recently, the Hyatt brand has been extended more broadly with the mid-priced Hyatt Place concept, including a newly built property just a few blocks away at Second Avenue and Adams Street. With a moderately priced hotel, there is also a need for a more casual restaurant. Adams Table, named for the street named for the nation’s second president, is now filling that role at the new hotel in downtown Phoenix.
Adams Table (no apostrophe since it is ultimately derived from John Adams and not someone with the first name Adam) is accessible from the lobby of the Hyatt Place and also has a second entrance facing Adams Street. Bike racks are found right around the corner along Second Avenue. The location is about four blocks from the Van Buren light rail platforms, and approximately two blocks from the new downtown hub being built where multiple light rail lines will intersect in the future. The Orpheum Theater and city hall are diagonally across the street.
The restaurant space blends seamlessly with the hotel lobby with only the host station clearly defining the threshold between the two spaces, and neither is terribly exciting in terms of decor or design. This is a solid citizen business hotel and not a resort or boutique property designed to impress with a trendy look or ambience. That said, it’s a pleasant environment, and the patio along Adams Street is a comfortable venue for outdoor dining. Inside, there’s a linear bar against the back wall, some traditional tables, and a few lounge style seats with big chairs.
Adams Table aims for the middle ground that so many hotel restaurants find themselves seeking. The menu must be interesting enough to entice people who live or work nearby to give the restaurant a try but not perceived as so exotic as to scare away hotel guests with limited palates. It generally succeeds in finding this Goldilocks zone by offering a combination of bar snacks, classic entrees, and some international flourishes that acknowledge that perceptions of what constitutes “comfort food” may vary depending on ancestry, age, and many other factors.
The “For the Table” section of the menu focuses on shareable starters, many discounted at happy hour and easily combined to create a meal on their own. The desert hot chicken bites have a medium-hot spice level, and refreshingly, the heat comes from the coating, not a sauce. They’re paired with sweet pickles and a slice of Noble bread. The roasted cauliflower has bursts of flavor from red pepper hummus and pickled fresno peppers, along with some crunch from Marcona almonds. Parmesan garlic fries are simple, straightforward, and satisfying.
The avocado toast tops Noble bread with chunks of avocado, leaves of arugula, and pickled onions. It might have benefited from more mashing of the avocado to make a more coherent dish. This version falls apart a little too easily, making it as messy as it is tasty. A chef’s board is the Adams Table take on increasingly popular charcuterie platters, and this one features yet more Noble bread with an intense sour cherry jam, marinated olives, age white cheddar, deviled eggs, crispy Brussels sprouts, and slices of both rosemary and chorizo de bilbao.
Salads include a namesake Adams Table salad with a hearty mix of mesclun greens, roasted corn, heirloom tomato, cucumber, avocado, and Marcona almonds tossed in a buttermilk ranch dressing. The steak salad is actually a lighter entree with a slight Southwestern touch from tomato, cucumber, and corn topped with tortilla strips and dressed in a cilantro lime vinaigrette. Entrees begin with fish and chips made with a locally sourced beer in the batter, yielding slabs of cod that are tender, moist, and flaky. They’re accompanied by a house tartar sauce and fries.
Carnitas tacos are three specimens of tacos dorados, tortillas that are stuffed with pork and then fried whole. They’re topped with pickled onions and served with a mild red salsa and an avocado crema. Rigatoni vodka is a simple but effective preparation topped with grated parmesan cheese and grilled chicken. In the evening, there are a few “larger plates” featuring short rib, roasted chicken, and seared salmon. For the most part, however, it’s an all-day menu with a common continuum of foods offered for lunch, dinner, and happy hour in between.
The three desserts at Adams Table are all somewhat fluid in form and therefore served in glasses. A chocolate s’mores dessert takes a layered approach to the campfire classic with strata of salted chocolate, grumbled graham cracker, and fluffy marshmallow. A key lime crumble is similar but with citrus replacing cacao. A cheesecake panna cotta is smooth and silky but not too sweet with a layer of berry coulis adding a fruit flavor. The pistachio crumble described on the menu was not in evidence when this item was sampled, however.
The bar features craft beers on tap with some local brews from the likes of Flagstaff-based Mother Road and Arizona Wilderness. A selection of wines and cocktails like the Professor B, a blend of white rum, curacao, and fruit, completes the beverage selection. Unlike the revolving restaurants associated with some Hyatt Regency properties, including the one in Phoenix, Adams Table at the Hyatt Place does not aim to impress with its altitude or views. Instead, it delivers an approachable restaurant experience in line with its accessible lodging brand.
150 W. Adams St., Phoenix AZ 85003
Van Buren / First Avenue or Jefferson / First Avenue stations (westbound)
Van Buren / Central or Washington / Central stations (eastbound)