Sometimes you want to go…where everybody knows your name…
Picking a bar in California is relatively new to me. I have gone here and there, and experienced restaurant-bars (where food is the focus, not drinking); but I have not sought out a bar-bar (where drinks are primary, and food is an afterthought.)
On a Sunday evening about 3 or 4 weeks ago, I had a hankering for craft beer, and chicken wings. I trolled-through Urban Spoon, Yelp, and LivingSocial but nothing sparked my interest. I had an “ah ha” moment and remembered that LiveDeal, a real-time online marketplace connecting you with local restaurants, bars, and their respective deals for that day, began serving Los Angeles. I went to the website, looked through the listing, and chanced upon Basement Tavern.
I think the name, Basement Tavern, is what caught my eye. It reminded me of a bar name you’d possibly find in Cambridge, across the street from Harvard. Once noting the Jerk Chicken Wings at the top of the menu, I knew this is where I wanted to go, and I went. Upon arrival, I became baffled and confused because the address was to The Victorian, a very upscale-looking venue which seemed to be hosting a wedding party that evening. In a bewildered state I approached the valet attendant [or security guard] and asked for help. “Around the corner to the left, all the way in the back,” he guided me. Basement Tavern is in the basement of the Victorian, the very place I did not expect to be—in a basement. The descent down the rear stairwell entrance, aft of the kitchen, and just pass the heat lamps and indoor/outdoor-type seating area, is all the workings of admittance to some sort of exclusive secret society of cool.
I stepped into the bar, and was instantly transported to one of the most warm and welcoming pubs in Any Town, UK; it simply felt like home. As my lady friend and I looked for seating, we made our way to a table in a dark, furthermost north-east corner of the establishment. After sitting momentarily, I decided we would be better seated at the bar. Stools were pulled and seats were copped, and immediately, Ronnie—the weekend manager and bartender—greeted us with delightful cheer and excitement, during a very busy Sunday-night Happy Hour. “Can I start you all off with drinks,” he asked, eagerly. This would serve as the beginning of a great drinker/bartender relationship.
I spent the following 2 Sundays at The Basement, and I went last night. I plan to go this Sunday, it’ll be reggae night. Join me one Sunday, and I promise you will enjoy the drinks, the food, and the live music and entertainment. If you’re lucky, you may catch an A-list celebrity or two.
Andre Barry at The Basement Tavern on 17 November 2013
Will Magid – African Herbsman – at The Basement Tavern on 24 November 2013
Will Magid – at The Basement Tavern on 24 November 2013
More Will Magid at The Basement Tavern on 24 November 2013
John Wayne Bro on 05 December 2013
Bodhi Rock Reggae on 05 January 2014
Basement Tavern at The Victorian
2640 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Hours: Mon thru Sun. – 5:00pm to 2:00am
Live Music 7 Days a Week
Happy Hour: Mon-Sat – 5p – 8pm
All Day Sunday
- $3 Beers
- $5 Wine & Wells
- Half off all Food