The Independence

4.3
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244 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American
The Independence is an American neighborhood restaurant and bar located in downtown Santa Monica. Start your dining experience with a cocktail from the 'Godfather of Cocktails' Vincenzo Marianella (Jonathan Gold's favorite bartender), then dive into our delicious farmers market inspired menu by Executive Chef Damoriae Graham. Eat, Drink & Be Merry!
What 244 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.3
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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G
London
8 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience3

Food was decent and so was service. Not sure if it was worth the price though. I’m sure it’s cause it’s a touristy area that causes the price to be higher

OT
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food. We came with a large group including children so we appreciated the noise level. Good drinks

DO
San Diego
13 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience2

Our group had the avocado toast with egg, burger and truffle fries. $60 with tip and the food was average at best.

JN
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great all around!

G
1 review
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall3food4service1ambience3

The service was very slow. They may have been confused who was waiting our table because we had two people come up to us. On a not busy night, took over 30 minutes for us to get our drinks.

OT
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience4

My boyfriend and I decided to have brunch for my birthday there. We get a great table by the window. We order a round of drinks and truffle fries to start. My boyfriends drink comes out the fries comes out and my mimosa never arrives. It took about 10 minutes of looking around to find my waitress and wave her over. After that she apologizes and grabs my mimosa. Once we get our entrees from a runner he has to fill up my bottomless mimosa because I didn’t see my waitress since she brought it after forgetting. Bottomless was 2 glasses of mimosas because she wasn’t around. My boyfriend ordered chicken and waffles and he wanted more syrup that took another 10 minutes to find and wave her down.

I’ll return for drinks at the bar but for service no thank you

KD
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience4

Went here for brunch. Food was okay, but of the four dishes ordered, nothing stood out as special. Staff was great.

FV
Orange County
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great ambiance and the kale salad with the avocado toast was great. The drinks were also fun.

k
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience5

great experience loved bottom less mimosas.eggs Benedict was not customized to preference

a
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience3

Usually have good experiences but the service was terrible this time.

JJ
Orange County
6 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

The service was great and even for a busy Saturday night it wasn't so crowded you couldn't move. The drinks were good and the waiter really helped us out in selecting the right ones. We decided to do apps instead of a full meal but we were stuffed and it was great to have a taste of everything. The Mac abd cheese and hummus were a huge hit.

LK
Los Angeles
35 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

This was a wonderful surprise. The menu, though small, has a wide variety of food offerings. My girlfriend had the pan-fried halibut which was extremely flavorful and moist, yet firm. I had what may be the best hamburger I have had in a long while - juicy [yet medium], with aged cheddar and superb bacon and lettuce and pickles. I'm hungry again just thinking about it! They had great cocktails as well and a solid liquor selection.

MA
Salt Lake City
4 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience2

This place has good food, not great. We sat outside, big mistake...homeless yelling and screaming at the top of their lungs making us feel uncomfortable. Then cops arresting one that had pushed another one and knocked over bikes. Would not have a business brunch here again.

OT
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Pretty cool place and food is very good too

JW
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Excellent for brunch
Bottomless mimosas for $20 for 2 hours

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall2food2service1ambience2

Very inattentive service

KM
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience2

Service is slow. Food isn’t good enough to wait long for. Super noisy.

l
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Good brunch but not very inventive. Boring menu. Enjoyed the drinks. Very young crowd.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our sever was great! Really personable and let us just enjoy our time. Food was good as usual. My go to spot in Santa Monica always delivers!

OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience2

Food was average, overpriced.

JR
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience5

The food was average. We had the steak frites, the Mac and cheese and the filet mignon skewers. The ribeye was good, MAC and cheese was average but stepped up once the bacon was added. The filet skewers didn’t seem like a filet cut due to the lack of tenderness but who knows.

The best part was the ambiance. Cute place, hip decor and a nice patio. The service that we received was below average and in a town with such great dining, you’ve got to step up your service. Waters were empty numerous times, wine came out with the food, then asked for a bottle opener to uncork again and pour another glass after we had corked ourselves to take home and never received that so we kept corked and took home.

At one point, another server actually came to our table and grabbed our check to ring it thru since it had been sitting there for quite some time and we were now ready to leave. Maybe a better place for a patio happy hour instead of dinner?

OT
Los Angeles
18 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience3

Sorry but a place that you are giving a nice service tip should not have signs on all the tables asking u to text a number if u needed something. That’s just really silly when spending over $100 easily for two people. Food and drinks were good.... but too many other restaurants to give a chance to before coming back here.

JJ
Los Angeles
24 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Great server, good location, energetic atmosphere. A little pricey, but I'm sure the rents in the area are quite high.

S
Los Angeles
287 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Deliciious food. Loved the kale salad!
Great location in SM by Mall, Promenade and parking structures.

F
Chicago
42 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall1food1service2ambience2

The food was over cooked, charred and had no flavor. Service was very average.

C
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

I have eat crab linguine: it was wonderful! Service is very friendly and kind!

LG
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Independence is fantastic! Both the food and service were excellent. I was impressed by the quality of the food - each dish was delicious!

CA
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved it! Bottomless mimosas were awesome, and the food was fantastic for brunch. Would definitely recommend!

JM
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Good food and drinks. Will be back again very soon

LR
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall3food1service2ambience5

The bread on my breakfast sandwich was stale. The waffles were not good. The only thing we enjoyed were the mimosas.

B
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful lunch experience at this restaurant. The wait staff was superb and the food was equally notable. We highly recommend this neighborhood gem.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Bottomless mimosas for brunch is wonderful. Enjoyed business dinners there, as well as casual meals. Easy ambiance.

SM
Raleigh
34 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Fun dinner for us with great service and incredible people watching from our table near the window. We had good wine, appetizers and entrees. The staff was attentive but not overbearing. Would highly recommend this place for a casual dinner!

L
Los Angeles
18 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Avocado toast was great-good bread. Service was a little slow. Had to request refills for bottomless mimosas. Atmosphere was lively and fun.

F
Portland
7 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Exceeded my kids’ expectations (calamari, truffle fries) and I was able to get a great kale salad. Portions are very large. Very quick service. Nice enough for everyday eating.

JG
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience3

Waited for a table for 20 mins even with reservation. Then waited about an hour for our food after we sat down and got drinks. So basically spent our whole Saturday evening at the independence.

R
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall4food4service2ambience3

All was fine. Servers were really busy so didn’t always get to us but overall, the food was good and the kids were happy.

OT
Seattle
9 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Went for Saturday brunch with my husband and sister. The restaurant had a fun atmosphere but was a little too noisy. After a few mimosas, we didn’t mind much, though! They had an excellent brunch menu; the smoked salmon Benedict and coconut cornflake French toast were amazing! And the bottomless mimosas kept coming; we never saw the bottom of our glass! Great, friendly service! Overall, one of my favorite brunch outings!!

OT
Los Angeles
22 reviews
Dined on May 27, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Hard to review this visit to Independence, because I had to order three times since they didn't have the items I wanted from the menu. I wound up having to settle for a hamburger. The brunch menu is weighted heavily to breakfast with very few "lunch" items. Perhaps management should reconsider this.

L
Los Angeles
13 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience2

The place benefits heavily from location as it’s gets a lot of tourists and 20-25% locals from proximity to 3rd st promenade and menu has such promise but preparations are inconsistent and some need rethinking. Baby octopus was sent back as it was not fully cooked but andouille sausage was overdone and highly salty, mussels and chorizo was tasty but chorizo looked gray and why put the fries underneath mussels in the broth, all they did was get soggy, chef ought to know that