The Independence

4.5
214 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Top tags:
  • Casual
  • Happy Hour
  • Brunch
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 214 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
Food
4.5
Service
4.3
Ambience
4.2
Value
Noise · Moderate
81% of people would recommend it to a friend
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B
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

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.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 14 July 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

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

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SM
Raleigh
29 reviews
Dined on 13 July 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

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!

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L
Los Angeles
16 reviews
Dined on 7 July 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 3Ambience 4

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

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F
Portland
7 reviews
Dined on 2 July 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

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.

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JG
1 review
Dined on 29 June 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 3Ambience 3

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.

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R
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on 16 June 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 2Ambience 3

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.

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OT
Seattle
9 reviews
Dined on 8 June 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

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!!

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I
Los Angeles
21 reviews
Dined on 27 May 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 4

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.

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L
Los Angeles
11 reviews
Dined on 25 May 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 2

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

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J
Los Angeles
18 reviews
Dined on 18 May 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

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.

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KA
Hawaii
9 reviews
Dined on 18 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

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.

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JA
Orange County
21 reviews
Dined on 12 May 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 3

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.

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JC
1 review
Dined on 12 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

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

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OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on 21 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

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

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TS
1 review
Dined on 20 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 3

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

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VQ
New England
1 review
Dined on 6 April 2019
Overall 3Food 2Service 3Ambience 2

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.

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OT
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on 31 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

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.

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C
1 review
Dined on 30 March 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

It has limited menu options. I think brunch should end before 3:00pm.

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OT
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on 24 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Celebrating the Marathon run

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KH
Indiana
5 reviews
Dined on 21 March 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Great location and food. Perfect

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l
Las Vegas
3 reviews
Dined on 9 March 2019
Overall 1Food 1Service 3Ambience 3

Food mediocre at best... service was fine, but food took way to long to get out of the kitchen . Bar was fine, and would consider going there for a cocktail and appetizer, but never again for dinner.

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PN
Los Angeles
19 reviews
Dined on 9 March 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

We've enjoyed two dinners and a lunch at The Independence and each experience has been great. It's one of the few restaurants on the Promenade that offers reasonably priced items for a variety of diners. Our particular favorites include the calamari, octopus, fish & chips, kale salad and mussels (although ask for the fries on the side -- too many wind up soggy at the bottom of the bowl). Their happy hour is also one of the best in town, with great options and terrific draft beers & cocktails.

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DM
1 review
Dined on 5 March 2019
Overall 5Food 2Service 2Ambience 5

This is one of my favorite places to go. We have never had a problem with the service or food. However we went to their Trivia Night for the first time and they seemed very understaffed and the food quality was very poor surprisingly. The crispy cauliflower was mushy and seemed old and the Brussels sprouts had too much sauce on them. This was the ONLY time of many that we were disappointed though. And the trivia was really fun!

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j
New England
1 review
Dined on 24 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Jocelyn always makes Sunday brunch extra fun!

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D
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on 23 February 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 3Ambience 4

Food is tasty and good value, I had fish and chips, good portion of fresh fish and English style chips. Others had a variety of apps, all very flavorful and big portions

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OT
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined on 17 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great place with great food!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on 16 February 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

I love this place. However, when we went last weekend, there was a big group next to our table. They were drinking alchohol so they were talking in sooo loud voice. It was hard to make a conversation and necessary to talk in a loud voice. Actually, we wanted to stay longer , but we got tired. Nice food and friendly service, but the restaurant was sooo noizy.

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NB
Vancouver
41 reviews
Dined on 9 February 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 2Ambience 3

Have not been to Santa Monica in years, and while wandering around noted the "spot", looked modern and interesting. Am always willing to give a place a chance despite "negative" reviews. But sadly some of the themes in the previous reviews were true. Although the space appears modern and hip, the service is slow. The issue appears to be that the restaurant is plain and simple, understaffed. Although when we interacted with the waiter, he was very friendly and helpful, he could not clearly keep up with the number of patrons who trickled in during our visit. The food was average, overly cooked and topped with too much cheese, hiding the flavors, and the portions were too large.
The spot as it fills becomes very noisy, the high ceiling looks great and noise "dampeners" are too few and far between. Conversation should not be hindered due to the loud surroundings.

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JM
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 6 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 3Ambience 5

Really good food that was reasonably priced. The Brussels Sprouts and Avocado Toast were delicious! The Lamb Burger was excellent!

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SM
Los Angeles
45 reviews
Dined on 3 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 3

Neighborhood gastropub with typical California food. Everything was delicious. We were there at Happy Hour so the prices were very low. Service was good. I would definitely come back.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 26 January 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 3

Service was very slow but servers were nice and the food was not bad.

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OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on 26 January 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Restaurant was very attractive with Windows on the Main Street great for people watching. Host was very accommodating finding us a good table and the service was a attentive and informed of the food offered. The happy hour was an excellent value for ordering drinks and appetizers and a couple of larger dishes. Overall a great place for small get-together or midsize company party

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TK
Los Angeles
13 reviews
Dined on 22 January 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Celebrating a birthday Always great creative food and delighted to see Jonathan

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MZ
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 5 January 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great location, nice place, fabulous food and great staff. Highly recommend.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 5 January 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Too loud.. but overall great!

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MA
1 review
Dined on 31 December 2018
Overall 1Food 2Service 2Ambience 2

I am very disappointed that I made these reservations on NYE with this restaurant the Independence. I was supposed to receive access to the bar next door called Copa and the the person turned my date and I away. They advertised a 6 course meal plus complimentary champagne and party favors. The total we paid for 2 people was $300! We went back to The independence to inform them what I paid for. They said there is nothing they can/will do. I asked the manager multiple times prior to the day if I needed tickets and they said no. The food was good of good quality however the experience here completely ruined it. I will never come back. I even sent them an email expressing my dissatisfaction and I never received a follow up.

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NF
Dallas
2 reviews
Dined on 23 December 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

The service was really great- we had the absolutely nicest waiter. Good food/ selection- We got a vegan bowl and chocolate pancakes and a burger and they were all legit

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A
Los Angeles
28 reviews
Dined on 15 December 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Had brunch here and it was amazing!! Service was also wonderful!

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T
1 review
Dined on 14 December 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 2Ambience 3

The food was Over rated, I can get better food with the same price else where. Their cocktaila weren’t great. Overall, one time was enough for us. There are so many other cool places in the area ...

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