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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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