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Northern Virginia looks a lot like Northern California at Härth, the dashing modern American restaurant ensconced in the high-tech Hilton McLean. En route to their tables, patrons pass a formation of birch poles and a slender open kitchen with a few stools for grazers. Menus in hand, diners pause to take in their surroundings. Comfy pearl-colored chairs and pistachio-hued banquettes grace gleaming wood floors; flames dance from inside marble columns separating rooms. Overhead, light fixtures appear to sprout wooden fronds. First bites prove promising. A small casserole of shrimp draped in a teasing barbecue sauce and framed in a summery relish of corn and black beans is as pleasing as it sounds, and pea soup with an island of emulsified carrot yields a bowl of vivid eating. I’m 20 minutes into dinner, helping myself to a second slice of margherita pizza — nice char, tangy sauce — and looking forward to penning a shout-out. Spoiling the story? The service, or lack thereof. Härth’s robotic waiters are skilled at averting their eyes from dishes that need clearing and wine glasses that need to be refilled, but less adept at treating guests as if this is 2014, and for some folks, pampering trumps cooking. (Inattention seems to be a guy thing. The female workers are all smiles and polish.) Härth grills a respectable steak, which it topped with a pat of herbed butter, but the kitchen has yet to master risotto, a chewy base for sweet, sautéed scallops. Vegan curry looks like a heap of side dishes and tastes as if someone who wasn’t weaned on curry made it. Desserts — a raft of puff pastry strewn with a garden of fruit, a bowl of vaguely butterscotch pudding with cubed poundcake — further remind me I’m eating in a chain hotel. Both selections are big and bland. A design critic might swoon. A restaurant reviewer can only sigh.