Top indie trends
Restaurants in this year’s Top 100 Independents ranking brought in a combined $1.8 billion last year.
Avocado toast with salmon belly
San Francisco restaurant Cliff House (No. 75) put an upscale twist on the still-popular avocado toast. The seafood-focused concept named its avocado toast with mesquite charred salmon belly its most successful menu addition of 2018.
Girl & the Goat (No. 91) named its wood-fired lamb skewers as its most successful menu addition of 2018. The dish is served with rhubarb relish, cilantro-yuzu vinaigrette and a garlic crunch. The Chicago concept from chef Stephanie Izard has never been shy about its use of lesser-known meats. As its name implies, the restaurant has a full section of the menu devoted to dishes made with goat, including goat empanadas and confit goat belly.
Paradise Cove Beach Cafe (No. 82) in Malibu, Calif., said that all of its shared plates have been extremely successful. The indie has a “Family Style” section of its menu with options such as Paella Paradise (saffron rice with shrimp, clams, mussels, calamari, chicken, pork ribs and sausage), Smokehouse BBQ Feast (pork ribs, beef ribs, barbecue chicken and sausages) and Barcelona Seafood Grille (ahi tuna, swordfish, salmon, shrimp, calamari steak, clams and mussels).