Soak up savories and savory sounds with today’s jazz-drenched Groupon. For $15, you’ll get $30 worth of audible and epicurean delights at Coda, a recently opened multisensory Mission Street supper club. The feared animal uprising never happened and Americans embraced jazz and jazz musicians, often giving them colorful nicknames, such as "Fancy Fingers" and "'Ol Skin Bag." Jazz faced its toughest challenge in 1936, when it was stolen by the French, who attempted to use the improvisational music to power a series of submarines. France and the United States sent their five best warriors into an ancient temple to battle for the future of jazz, but all 10 fighters became friends and moved in together. Thereafter, jazz returned to the United States on its own, where it remains popular today.
The Vibe: The dividing wall inside Sheba Lounge looks like it came from a church, and for good reason—it’s a replica of the one in the Church of St. George, an Ethiopian Orthodox church carved out of rock in Lalibela. The rest of the space surrounds diners in warm, tropical tones.
Who’s Cooking: Owner and chef Netsanet Alemayehu started cooking in her native Harar, Ethiopia when she was just nine years old. Today, Ms. Alemayehu still relies on Ethiopian recipes and techniques. In fact, she has fresh spices, sauces, and other ingredients shipped in from relatives who still live in Harar.
When to Go: When the restaurant hosts live music, which begins at 8 p.m. Sunday–Thursday, and 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The setlists range from Afro-Cuban jazz to classical violin.
Press and Praise
Injera: a flatbread made with fermented batter that's central to many Ethiopian dishes. Traditionally, diners break off small pieces and use it to scoop up mouthfuls of food.
Berbere: the signature spice mixture in Ethiopian food; it combines about a dozen spices including clove, cinnamon, paprika, cumin, and red chilies.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Browse imported Japanese incenses and essential oils at Kohshi (1737 Post St).
After: Order a hard-to-find beer at Speakeasy Ales & Lagers (1195 Evans Ave)
If You Can’t Make It, Try This The Ethiopian cuisine at Assab Eritrean Restaurant (2845 Geary Blvd)
By the Numbers
A Bar Reborn: In 2013, new owners took over Dogpatch Saloon, and they remodeled from floor to ceiling. They also added decor elements that echo the city’s industrial roots, namely an old Muni track—made by Bethlehem Steel—that now serves as the bar’s rail. They left a couple of the old bar’s elements, including the brass bell used for last call and the familiar stained-glass window that welcomes patrons inside.
While You’re Waiting: Listen to owner and bartender Marc Goldfine. He’s a trained voice actor, and his resonate tones carry throughout the bar and directly into his patrons’ hearts.
While You’re in the Neighborhood: Try the fried chicken at Hard Knox Cafe (2526 3rd Street).
If You Can’t Make It, Try This: 83 Proof (83 1st Street), the owners’ other bar.
Headliners: Catch local and national acts including Earl Thomas, a blues singer-songwriter whose compositions have been covered by Etta James and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, riveting soul singer Terrie Odabi, and retro Kansas City–style blues band Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Work up an appetite by window shopping at Union Square.
After: Grab a nightcap at Bartlett Hall (242 O’Farrell Street), where bartenders pour local craft beers and specialty cocktails like the 49ers Gold Rush—bonded bourbon, lemon, honey syrup, and Fernet Branca.
Dancing is a given at The Lexington Club, where members of the lesbian and queer community have been partying for 16 years. But while beats are assured, it's often tough to predict what musical decade you'll be grooving to. Themed DJ nights pull together songs from the 50s through today's top 40 listings, covering pop, disco, slow jams, and songs by LGBT artists. Regardless of the tunes being played within, the small bar's ambiance remains one of rollicking hospitality. Red walls and tasseled chandeliers surround patrons as they mingle or compete in games of pool, which are free on Mondays. Other regular events include sake-bomb Wednesdays and trivia, held on the third and seventh Tuesday of the month. The Lexington Club stays open until 2 a.m. every night, and the staff typically abstains from charging a cover fee.
In 1997, legendary blues musician John Lee Hooker opened the Boom Boom Room—a Fillmore Street blues bar named for one of his hits. From then until his death in 2001, Hooker not only populated the stage with the masters of his art, but regularly played his own shows in the sultry, scarlet colored lounge. Nowadays the music is more varied—the walls reverberate with soul, funk, drum 'n bass, new wave, and electronica—but it remains what Frommer's calls "a fun, dark, small, cramped, and steamy joint where you can hear good live tunes." The travel guide recommends stopping by after seeing a show at the Fillmore, as the club stays open until 2 am.