There couldn't be a better metaphor for the state of San Francisco nightlife in 2012 than the arrival of Monarch. Starting with a bang in late 2011, the club took over the building that once housed the Room Ultra Lounge. In many ways it feels like a changing of the guard, another victory won in a subtle battle being waged against the bottle-centric venues that flourished in the noughties. At the heart of what makes Monarch so noteworthy is its custom horn-loaded Void Acoustics soundsystem, the only one of its kind on the West Coast. Descend deep into the Sixth Street basement, and you'll find yourself immersed in a world of euphony generated by the venue's four protruding tuba-like enclosures. Without a dead spot in the room, it's easily the best place in the city to hear your favorite touring DJs loud and clear.