The Independence in Santa Monica

Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade-adjacent Asian-fusion restaurant Buddha’s Belly closed last year and reopened in January of this year as The Independence.  Initially, the kitchen was to be headed up by b.o.s. chef David Bartnes, but those plans fell through.  Instead, chef Tom Block, formerly of Beelman’s Pub, helms the back of the house.  Earlier this month, I was invited to try a large sampling of the menu at a hosted event.

Though the menu includes many of the mainstays of popular gastropub fare, the recipes all seemed fresh and execution was superb.  My favorite dishes included the fork-tender Grilled Octopus, with smoked beans, grapes, celery, pickled chili; the bright and flavorful Smoked Whitefish Toast with pickled shallots, apple, fried capers; and the Thai-inspired Rack of Lamb, with Thai red curry rub, coconut milk, and an amazing smoked eggplant puree that could be served on its own with toast and sell like hot cakes!

Grilled Octopus at The Independence

Grilled Octopus at The Independence

 

Smoked Whitefish Toast at The Independence

Smoked Whitefish Toast at The Independence

 

Rack of Lamb at The Independence

Rack of Lamb at The Independence

 

Cocktails are the work of nearby sister-establishment Copa d’Oro’s Vincenzo Marianella, and there’s something for everyone.  For those who light bright and tart, there’s the Sawtelle, with citron vodka, kumquats, blood orange, homemade honey-ginger syrup, Curtis lime bitters.  For a more caliente taste, there’s the Buenos Ayers, with Jamaican rum, maraschino liqueur, stone pine liqueur, fresh lemon juice, Curtis smoked banana bitters, cayenne pepper & sugar rim.  And for those who enjoy a fine cigar, there’s the Smoke of Scotland: Laphroigh cask strength scotch whiskey, extra dry vermouth, elderflower liqueur, Amaro Averna.

The Sawtelle at The Independence

The Sawtelle at The Independence

 

The Buenos Ayres and Smoke of Scotland at The Independence

The Buenos Ayres and Smoke of Scotland at The Independence

 

There is something for everyone on the menu, whether you’re vegetarian, or a burger lover.  There is also has a decent looking Happy Hour menu that I can’t wait to try–a friend has already been several times and enjoyed her visits!

Raw Oyster at The Independence

Raw Oyster at The Independence

 

Red Snapper Crudo at The Independence

Red Snapper Crudo at The Independence

 

Roasted Wild Mushrooms at The Independence

Roasted Wild Mushrooms at The Independence

 

Roasted Mary's Chicken at The Independence

Roasted Mary's Chicken at The Independence

 

Disclaimer:  As mentioned above, this was a hosted event.  All opinions are mine.

The Independence
205 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 458-2500
http://www.independencetavern.com/

16. March 2015 by The Offalo
Categories: American, Gastropub | Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *