Best of the Bay 2013: BEST NOLA WEST

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Appropriately, the Chapel opened last year with a string of concerts by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, a group named for its origin point at NOLA's Preservation Hall jazz venue. That's the spot Valencia Street's new place for music worship (officially known as Preservation Hall West at the Chapel) is modeled after, and endlessly inspired by, be it in in the form of design, live music, or eats. This year, the well-crafted, multilevel, many-roomed Chapel has expanded its musical offerings, dabbling in folk, rock'n'roll, and indie bands like La Sera, Magic Trick, and Weekend, along with more traditional jazz acts, and what-the-hell randomly awesome offerings like Sparks or actor-musician John C. Reilly with Lavender Diamond. It also opened the attached Vestry Restaurant, which offers a full menu leaning more on the SF gourmet side, with items like the duck confit flatbread or seared scallops with beet risotto. During shows, patrons can peep live acts from the open upstairs balcony, from the dramatic main room down below, or perched on a bar stool in the shiny wooded lounge with closed-circuit flat screens, high-end cocktails like the Old Overholt rye-based Ward Eight, and yummy bar bites like shrimp po' boys that subtly wink at NOLA pride.

777 Valencia, SF. (415) 551-5157, www.thechapelsf.com

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