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Basement Tavern

Speakeasy, Bar, and Music Venue$$$$
Ocean Park, Santa Monica
  • The experts at LA Weekly and Los Angeles Times recommend this place
    • LA Weekly
    • Los Angeles Times
  • Tom M.
    "Nobody dances but the live bands are usually really great."(12 Tips)
    Amy S.
    "The 'C'est la vie' & the 'Purple Haze' are both delish!"(2 Tips)
    Cato S.
    "... (I loved the ginger Basement Burro) and selection of aged Whiskeys. A fun..."(2 Tips)
    Shane E.
    "Great prices and even greater happy hour prices on food and drink."(4 Tips)
66 Tips and reviews
  • live music
  • happy hour
  • cocktails
  • la vie
  • whiskey
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  • Popular
  • Recent
  • AskMen
    AskMenFebruary 17, 2012
    The tavern delivers on many fronts. It's a community bar, no cover is always a plus, it's got a great bar menu, and did we forget to mention it's in a historic Victorian home Read more
  • Maria O.
    Maria O'bryNovember 20, 2013
    Been here 50+ times
    Love bartenders. Soo friendly, experienced and easy-going. More classy Victorian and sick Basement, cheap drinks, nice live bands,lots of people. If you want the real speak-easy spirit, this is it.
  • Chris C.
    Chris CooksonSeptember 19, 2015
    Dark, hard to know where you are going or hear anyone, drinks are expensive, place is overcrowded and it tends to get really sweaty, really fast. However, their live music is almost always great!
  • Joe J.
    Joe JohnsonJuly 25, 2012
    The best part is... It feels like a high end Chicago speakeasy from 1918 once inside...except for the enclosed chic game room. Great food from the parent restaurant, the Victorian.
  • Tom M.
    Tom McKeeverDecember 4, 2014
    Live music and great cocktails. A large amount of outside porch area to escape the basement if you need to. Nobody dances but the live bands are usually really great.
  • Cato S.
    Cato StevensAugust 4, 2011
    Great idea! Rock music and Rock Band. Great cocktails (I loved the ginger Basement Burro) and selection of aged Whiskeys. A fun follow-up to Tuesdays' food trucks in the adjacent lot. Read more
  • Ryan W.
    Ryan WOctober 23, 2014
    One of my favorite places to grab a drink. Well-crafted cocktails and a decent beer selection. Great atmosphere. Your phone won't work downstairs.
  • Taryn Maxximillian D.
    The ladies WC is super ratchet. You're just as well off peeing behind a car in the parking lot with a fist full of cocktail napkins. The drinks are good. The DJ loves spinning 90's jams.
  • Emiliy M.
    Emiliy MarinoFebruary 19, 2016
    Fun little speakeasy. Looks like you're in a cross between the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. Live band karaoke is a blast.
  • Juliana L.
    Juliana LimaJanuary 19, 2015
    What a find! Didn't know where to go so searching in some apps Basement Tavern appeared as local spot. I absolutely loved the atmosphere of the place and the people.
  • Party Earth
    Party EarthApril 4, 2012
    “The Tavern fills up quickly between 9 and 10pm. Once they hit capacity, it’s one in/one out for the rest of the night.” Find out more at
  • Meg F.
    Meg FarmerDecember 24, 2014
    Trendy late night spot. Attracts a good crowd, but also tends to have a wait to get in. Hit up another Main Street bar if that's the case.
  • Paola D.
    Paola DOctober 19
    The drinks were great! I especially loved the theme and the live music. A nice place for a night out in Venice.
  • Scott H.
    Scott HowardNovember 26, 2012
    Order a Manhattan in a rock's glass. The bartender makes it really well using this awesome whiskey, it's called Brimstone.
  • Taste Terminal
    Taste TerminalMarch 4, 2012
    Happy hour discounts include food items marked at 50% off, $2 off bottle beer, $5 glass of house red or white wine, $5 Delia’s Elixir cocktail and $7 rotating specialty cocktails. Read more
  • Cherith Z.
    Cherith ZanghiAugust 23, 2016
    Cool spot and fun to get to, but I've been here several times over the last few years and one thing hasn't changed: Way. Too. Loud. It's absurd
  • Oscar "Del ☊ Brian" R.
    Oscar "Del ☊ Brian" RangelJuly 26, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    I vinyl DJ here on either Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays. One or the other each weekend. So fun. Don't forget to say hello!
  • Shane E.
    Shane EppsMarch 13, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Always a good time. Great prices and even greater happy hour prices on food and drink.
  • FabFitFun
    FabFitFunNovember 16, 2011
    Bartenders in old-time dress serve strong cocktails, a live band plays most nights, and a good time is guaranteed!
  • Kirsten S.
    Kirsten StubbsJuly 4, 2011
    Make friends with Gilbert, he's the best bartender and has a knack for creating drinks on the spot. Love this bar!
  • Pierre C.
    Pierre CannJanuary 24, 2015
    Excellent place to chill out after a day on the beach. Very intimate.
  • LA Weekly
    LA WeeklyAugust 4, 2014
    To avoid the tourists in Santa Monica, you'll have to go underground. Read more
  • Steph D.
    Steph DJuly 20, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    Be sure to order a C'est La vie from Brad. Also, the chalkboard walls provide hours of fun.
  • Ingrid B.
    Ingrid B.June 27, 2011
    Been here 50+ times
    Try the signature drinks! They are all amazing, well prepare drinks!!!
  • Natalie G.
    Love it but it's a little crowded inside.
  • aris s.
    aris sJune 28, 2011
    good drink prices, good food, board games and wii. so much fun!
  • Amy S.
    Amy SApril 25, 2014
    The 'C'est la vie' & the 'Purple Haze' are both delish!
  • Maria O.
    Maria O'bryFebruary 3, 2013
    Been here 50+ times
    Love the band on Saturday though it is very crowded!
  • Los Angeles Times
    Los Angeles TimesOctober 14, 2010
    To find Basement Tavern, you'll have to enter in back, pass by the wafting stench of trash bins, navigate through a loading dock and then descend a flight of stairs, and that's just to get inside. Read more
  • Ben C.
    Ben CaroApril 6, 2015
    Always open, even if upstairs is reserved.
  • Jacqueline L.
    Jacqueline L.February 3, 2013
    Happy hour: Sun all day, rest of week 5-8. $3 beer, $5 wine/well. Half off all food.
  • Kevin D.
    Kevin DuncanAugust 16, 2010
    Awesome vibe. Good music. Decent beer selection. Chandeliers are a fine touch.
  • Dave H.
    Dave HoltzAugust 25, 2016
    Get there early before the bros descend upon the bar.
  • Jeff W.
    Jeff WalkerSeptember 30, 2013
    great music, get the Moscow mule
  • April P.
    April PfenderSeptember 2, 2010
    Nice bar tenders , good drink prices, newest fun bar on the westside
  • Alisha B.
    Alisha BlandJanuary 25, 2013
    Live Band on Thursday is great!!!!
  • Rachael M.
    Rachael McLeanAugust 29, 2011
    Monday is best night..Butch Walker is playing there these days then it gets clastrophobia like.
  • Phil S.
    Phil SingletonJuly 9, 2016
    The vibe is very chill and relaxed
  • James L.
    James LeeNovember 26, 2011
    try the basement burro... it's refreshing!
  • Brendan B.
    Brendan BurnettNovember 30, 2013
    Any place with two live bands is cool by me
  • Ingrid B.
    Ingrid B.November 1, 2011
    Been here 50+ times
    Monday is burlesque night with Behind the six band. Soooo good!
  • Mike J.
    Mike JacobsonJune 14, 2011
    Get the dragon. Promise. Also, awesome happy hr 5-8
  • Carla A.
    Carla AJuly 13, 2014
    I didn't like it at all. It was hot and there was no AC. The bouncer was an A-HOLE who wanted our group to make line to get back in after we came out for some fresh air! Go somewhere else if you can.
  • Jonathan P.
    Jonathan PercyJanuary 14, 2012
    Pretend you're the only one that knows about this place and try to impress your friends.
  • Elle S.
    Elle ShaneeAugust 5, 2013
    Beautiful for weddings and receptions!!!
  • Allan d.
    Allan de LeonAugust 9, 2011
    Get there before 10 PM... Read more
  • Amol K.
    Amol KDecember 27, 2014
    Like the ambiance but drinks are overpriced for the amount they pour.
  • Victoria S.
    Victoria SantoroFebruary 11
    Its ok nice people, live music.
  • Shawn A.
    Shawn AndersonMarch 7, 2011
    fun bar with great live music
  • Ingrid B.
    Ingrid B.November 16, 2011
    Been here 50+ times
    Happy hour everyday food and drinks from 5-8 pm
  • Justin T.
    Justin TaylorAugust 13, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    If you can't get in, check out the Victorian
  • Michelle M.
    Michelle MoralesNovember 19, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    The Bathtub Gin Rocks!!
  • Jessica Y.
    Jessica YoMay 17, 2011
    Wow. Careful, it's very very dark down there!
  • Brandy B.
    Brandy BonesSeptember 11, 2015
    Bar food is not very good. Deviled eggs were old and not tasty and salad had wilted greens.
  • Sarah H.
    Sarah HerronSeptember 25, 2011
    If you can't get in, just say you're with Sarah Herron
  • Randall H.
    Randall HeadJuly 4, 2012
    Cool vibe but Way too small. Can't really move at all
  • Rob H.
    Rob HarringtonJuly 15, 2010
    Been here 10+ times
    The Basement Manhattan is amazing!
  • Melissa C.
    Melissa CSeptember 10, 2014
    It's dark and cave-like.
  • Dimitris M.
    Dimitris MakrisSeptember 30
    Really bad attitude by some people working there. Rude and aggressive for no reason at all. I will never visit again.
  • Healy S.
    Healy SnowFebruary 10, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    Great live music
  • Mike L.
    Mike LanzilloApril 10, 2014
    Janelle is the shit
  • Nigel S.
    Nigel StewartOctober 13, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    Wii for free
  • Jean-Michel H.
    Jean-Michel HoffmanAugust 30, 2014
    Management and bouncers are complete and total douche bags. Incredibly rude.
  • L F.
    L FAugust 12, 2010
    No AC!
  • Juan R.
    Juan RobredoJanuary 20, 2014
    El sótano está muy padre, pero también hay gran ambiente arriba
  • Rama b.
    Rama b sohaAugust 30, 2012
    Rock et conviviale.
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