The Basement Tavern

2640 Main St.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
To avoid the tourists in Santa Monica, you'll have to go underground. That's where the Basement Tavern is, right underneath The Victorian event space on Main Street. The low-slung cocktail bar still teems with regulars on the weekends, but you can enjoy a relaxing midweek drink without much fuss. The Basement Burro, a friendly take on the Moscow Mule that relies on a housemade ginger syrup, is a hit with the youngish crowd, as is the Modern Fashioned, which subs in agave nectar and blood orange. There is food and a small selection of beers, but don't be fooled: This is cocktail territory with a laid-back vibe that hasn't been ruined by hordes of tourists yet.

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