This is a super busy area in Santa Monica right down the street from the 3rd Street promenade. There are lots of diverse folks making their way to this area, as well as lots of homeless. Independence big east facing windows gives you all of the action outside. From the families walking by to the street artists you get really a huge view of the Santa Monica scene from inside this urban type restaurant.
I just love using rapid transit in Los Angeles, like the Metro Rail and here is yet another application of its use. For me driving down La Cienaga to the Metro Rail Station and hoping on the the Expo line towards Santa Monica on a warm summers night is just the ticket. The Metro rail travels overhead the whole way. Once you’re in Santa Monica all you do is walk 2 blocks and your there, so easy, and perfect for summer time excursion. However my friend said he would drive at the last minute but if I had it my way I would have taken the metro rail.
Here’s what I tried:
Campanula Sour Grapefruit vodka, red bell pepper, mint, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, served in a large coupe glass, it has just the right amount of sweet and sour, and the mint in your mouth is just perfect.
Lynda’s Margarita Tequila, fresh limejuice, agave, basil, cucumber (Available spicy). Named after owners Jonathan Chu’s wife Lynda, this is a perfect starting drink.
Coldwater Vodka, with cucumber, lemon and soda. A nice smooth refreshing cocktail, I like the fresh cucumber flavor.
Market Oysters on Ice classic mignonette, house granita, perfectly fresh and delicious and the granita adds the icy texture that I just loved.
Steamed Mussels bacon, caramelized onion, tomato, olives, chili flake, and garlic bread, one of my favorite mussel dishes ever, it was not too spicy and had great tomato nuances.
Fried Garlic-Chili Jumbo Prawns chili aioli, lemon, they serve 3 huge prawns but the sauce was a bit too spicy for me.
Truffled Poached Egg & Bacon frisée lettuce, truffle vinaigrette, brown butter croutons, green onion. Owner Jonathan suggested I try this salad, and boy was he right. It’s a very French rendition, but the egg yoke, the truffle and the bacon make for one delicious explosion in your mouth.
Sautéed Salmon English pea & couscous salad, roasted onions, pickled carrot, and English pea puree. This is a nice interpretation of a staple for most restaurants; I loved the peas in this dish.
Organic Half Roasted Chicken Tuscan kale, pickled red beets, caper-dijon jus. Not some thing I would ever order because of the beets, but they really kept the beet flavor separate, so I would give this dish a good review.
Grilled 8oz. Hanger Steak celery root mashed potato, melted leeks, caper salsa, and port glaze. The steak is cooked rare and the celery root was terrific, but they just did not put enough of the celery root on the plate.
Roasted Cauliflower spiced Greek yogurt, green onion, and gold raisins. Cauliflower side dishes are all the rage, and this one doesn’t disappoint.
Braised Greens & Soft Polenta toasted garlic, chile de arbol, and grated grana padano. I love this highly seasoned vegetable as a side.
California Jumbo Asparagus roasted balsamic cremini mushrooms, truffle duxelle aioli, and black garlic. This side dish was very salty, but if you like asparagus then by all means try it.
Parmesan Truffle Fries Parmesan, white truffle, these were amazing!
Banana – Hazelnut Bread Pudding with nutella ganache and Mc Connell’s caramel ice cream, a nice warm desert, and the ice cream was the best part.
Chardonnay, Chalk Hill Sonoma, you can drink this wine with the oysters, the salmon and the prawns; it just hit all the right notes.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Broadside Margarita. I would drink this wine with the hanger steak; it is bold and brilliant and works great with the richness of the meat.
The interior is very industrial, there are some communal bar type tables in one area and sit down dining room in another. A large city scape mural by well-known local artist John Park adorns one wall. http://www.johnparkart.com/murals.html. The bar scene is very bustling, and then there are those big glass windows, letting the outside in.
The Independence has been in business for 2 years, before that the same owner Jonathan Chu had his great restaurant Buddha’s Belly, as well as on Beverly Blvd. in the Fairfax district.
Dinner, – 6pm – close, Tues – Sun, Lunch -11:45 am – 3 pm, Tues – Friday, Brunch – 11 am – 3 pm, Sat & Sun, Happy Hour 3 pm – 6 pm, Tues – Friday.
Santa Monica, CA 90401