Picking a place to dine in Santa Monica isn’t an easy fete! Located close to the pier, The Independence is a modern-day gastropub right by the ocean. The unassuming restaurant has a less-than intimidating menu, as there is something for everyone. To that point, this is not your average take on American “staples.” Simply put, it’s elevated approachable dining with a twist.
The menu, recently had a makeover and is its own culinary journey. “We are The Independence Tavern, so you think All-American fare,” states Chef Eric Moody. “Let’s take low-brow American food and elevate it!” Upon dining you’ll notice the complex flavors seeping through each and every item on the menu! That’s because everything is made in-house as they are a complete scratch kitchen. The Five Cheese Mac & Cheese is a must! How can anyone pass up a dish that has gruyere, white cheddar, asiago, parmesan, and gouda! For a little added splurge, add mushrooms and truffle oil (obviously do this!). The dish itself was everything you could imagine. Savory, decadent, and wildly addictive.
Now on to the good stuff – the wings! The wings are everything! It’s a snack that’s so simple, yet so few can deliver a pretty perfect wing. You’re in luck because this place does it right! The wings come in three flavors: House Fire (hot or mild), Lemon Pepper, or Serrano Ginger. The Serrano Ginger have a bit of sweet heat. You’re going to want more of these for sure!
The Wagyu Ribeye Steak is a classic that is delicious anywhere you go! The Ora King Salmon was surprisingly refreshing and pan-seared perfectly! The plate is complete with lentils and arugula. I have to say the true gem of The Independence are the gourmet burgers. For starters, the beef burgers are made with both ground chuck, brisket, AND short rib! I mean, need I say more?
“When it comes a moist and juicy burger, it’s all about flavor and fat ratio,” states Chef Moody. “We grind everything in-house and are shooting between 20-30% fat so it caramelizes well because that’s really everything!” He’s right, it.is.EVERYTHING!
The drink menu may be heavy with the bourbon creations, however there are amazing libations on it! The Coldwater is basically a refreshing spa in a glass! Vodka, cucumber juice, lemon, and soda – dangerously easy to drink.
Serving up great cocktails, gourmet burgers, and an even greater happy hour – The Independence is sure to be your favorite neighborhood tavern. Be sure to grab a lavender lemonade to-go as it’s the perfect drink for finishing your afternoon at the beach across the street!
All in all, The Independence is impressive! It’s unique, bursting with flavor, and I’m truly surprised Guy Fieri hasn’t checked this place out by now as it’s straight-up “flavortown!” If dining in isn’t your “thing” ATM, place an order via the new text messaging platform OhWaiter, where you can maintain open communication with your server from your phone.
The establishment has completely remodeled during COVID and has an inviting and invigorating vibe – ready to take on your brunch, happy hour, or date night needs!
205 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401