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SPEAK EASY COCKTAIL - SANTA MONICA

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Its name screams "dive bar," and its location screams "dive bar," (next to a gas station, across from a used car dealer on Pico blvd). Luckily, this windowless joint does not disappoint.

From the basement rumpus-room wall paneling, to the crappy pool tables, to the big-haired post-cougar tending the bar, Speak Easy is a great place to knock back a few. Only two gripes: (1) no draft beer, just cases of beer stacked behind the bar as if someone popped over to Ralph's with a pick-up truck. But, hey, PBR in cans supports the vibe, and (2) not a morsel of food, although hard to fathom anyone would want to eat anything that came out of a kitchen here. Of course the real downside to the lack of grub is that, while Speak Easy is one of those rare Santa Monica watering holes that has an honest-to-goodness parking lot, it's much better to walk, cab, or ride your bike (as I did). This is a place to get loaded and lip sync Bon Jovi, not set yourself up for a DWI.

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