Skool's Fried Aji Sandwich
A burly guy in a tank top, shoulders bristling with gray hairs, leans into the server. "We just came from the gym and my husband is starving." Just two days old, Skool has a sun-blasted deck worthy of Sydney or Santa Monica, and a lazy hedonism that already feels like San Francisco. Once the liquor license arrives (sometime in July, the owners expect), Skool's deck could be one of the best happy hour venues in the city, a place where workers from nearby design showrooms wax bitchy about the Escalade trade over multiple mojitos.
Until then, it's a fine place for lunch. Like his front-of-the-house partners, chef Toshihiro Nagano is a refugee from Blowfish Sushi to Die For, but don't hold that against him. Nagano's fried aji sandwich ― available as a Skool Lunch Box, which comes with soup and a salad or fries ― is a bright-tasting rejiggering of the Filet-O-Fish. Moist, mahi-mahi-like aji (aka horse mackerel), in a greaseless breading, teeters atop thick-cut Panorama levain, with pickled red cabbage and the house tartar, a sort of tangy hash of finely diced egg and a whole lot of seedy mustard.
It's a delicious sandwich, hefty enough to satisfy even some ravenous, gym-worked bear.
Skool 1725 Alameda (at DeHaro), 255-8800.