The Independence

4.2
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236 reviews
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$30 and under
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American

Top tags:

Casual
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 236 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.2
Food
4.2
Service
4.2
Ambience
4.0
Value
Noise · Moderate
77% of people would recommend it to a friend
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k
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4Food3Service4Ambience5

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

a
New York Area
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall2Food3Service1Ambience3

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

JJ
Orange County
6 reviews
Dined on 5 October 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 5 October 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
3 reviews
Dined on 29 September 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 14 September 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Pretty cool place and food is very good too

JW
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 8 September 2019
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience4

Excellent for brunch
Bottomless mimosas for $20 for 2 hours

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 7 September 2019
Overall2Food2Service1Ambience2

Very inattentive service

KM
1 review
Dined on 7 September 2019
Overall3Food3Service2Ambience2

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

l
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on 1 September 2019
Overall4Food3Service4Ambience4

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

OT
1 review
Dined on 31 August 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 30 August 2019
Overall3Food3Service3Ambience2

Food was average, overpriced.

JR
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on 17 August 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 17 August 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 17 August 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
284 reviews
Dined on 16 August 2019
Overall4Food5Service5Ambience4

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

F
Chicago
42 reviews
Dined on 9 August 2019
Overall1Food1Service2Ambience2

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

C
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on 6 August 2019
Overall4Food5Service5Ambience5

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

LG
1 review
Dined on 6 August 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 3 August 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 28 July 2019
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

Good food and drinks. Will be back again very soon

LR
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on 28 July 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
20 reviews
Dined on 19 July 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 14 July 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

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

SM
Raleigh
32 reviews
Dined on 13 July 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 7 July 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 2 July 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 29 June 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 16 June 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 8 June 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!!

CH
Los Angeles
22 reviews
Dined on 27 May 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 25 May 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

J
Los Angeles
18 reviews
Dined on 18 May 2019
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

We really like this place and returned for our 4th visit for a Saturday night dinner before a play. I have to say that the food this time was just slightly less fantastic than previous times (with the exception of the fabulous grilled cauliflower, which was to die for). And our server seemed a bit less accessible than former visits. The place got very noisy as it filled up. Nonetheless. We still enjoy this spot and will return.

KA
Hawaii
11 reviews
Dined on 18 May 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Went to The Independence on a busy Saturday afternoon for Happy Hour. Enjoyed the chicken wings, fried calamari, fish and chips and the Caesar salad. The salad had actual anchovy! Great value with great food and great service. Will definitely make another trip back.

JA
Orange County
25 reviews
Dined on 12 May 2019
Overall3Food3Service4Ambience3

The place is ok. When we arrived it was noisy because of a basketball game being watched by many at the bar. The service was good and the food was ok, not great, but satisfactory. I't not a fancy place, nor is it too expensive. It's fine for a casual occasion.

JC
1 review
Dined on 12 May 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Very underrated Brunch spot. Bottomless Mimosas, great food, fun contemporary style interior.

OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on 21 April 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

The sauce on the fried egg sandwich was amazing! Went for brunch and enjoyed the unlimited mimosas but 2 hour strict limit as info.

TS
1 review
Dined on 20 April 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience3

Overall, The Independence provides a great dining experience, with fantastic food, and attentive service. On top of that, their cocktails are unique and delicious.

VQ
New England
1 review
Dined on 6 April 2019
Overall3Food2Service3Ambience2

Went at the peak brunch (unlimited mimosa) time, so like 1:30 - 3:30. Unlimited mimosas end at 3. It was really loud, we were seated next to a rowdy crowd. The food was fine, the unlimited mimosas were fun. We made a reservation, which was super important. Because of the time, it was SUPER busy, and we still waited probably 10-15 minutes for our table. It was fine. The parmesan fries were delicious! I would go once more to try another food item, to see if anything else is good, but the unlimited mimosas were the highlight and they pulled through.

OT
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on 31 March 2019
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience4

The food was great! Our server was very hospitable and attentive. I got bottomless mimosas and a breakfast platter. The food is very yummy and worth it.