It's not often that I pass through Independence, CA, but whenever I'm traveling on Highway 395 I make a point of dining at the Still Life Cafe. Though the menu is limited and service is slow, the quality of the food and creative preparation have never disappointed. Daily specials are listed on a blackboard, and on a recent visit included pasta primavera and a duck galantine. The wine list is French, reasonably priced, and extensive. The walls of the historic building are covered with watercolors and photographs. Though the owner/server sometimes appears indifferent, if you engage him in conversation, his response is interesting and informative. On our most recent visit, when we inquired about dessert after a birthday dinner, his wife/the chef returned to the kitchen and prepared a delicious chocolate/mango/whipped cream delight. If you're lucky, you'll be there on a slow weekday evening when this intriguing couple may charm you with some of their personal history, which stretches from Paris to Algeria, London, and Los Angeles before reaching this small town at the eastern edge of the High Sierra.
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