Skool: fabulous industrial chic fish restaurant opens in Potrero Hill

Skool restaurant in San Francisco

Interior of Skool restaurant in San Francisco

Skool is a new fish restaurant that opened three weeks ago in the Potrero Hill neighborhood (not up in the hills but on the flats, near Grand Pu Bah). Skool consists of two husband and wife pairs, Toshihoro and Hiroko Nagano and Andy and Olia Mirabell.

The first thing you notice when you arrive at Skool is the large outdoor patio, which is fantastic for when the sun actually comes out in San Francisco. Inside, the high ceilings and cool modern interiors, a lovely bar and spacious tables, enhance the dining experience. Because of the large floor to ceiling windows all around the restaurant, there is a lot of natural light. The photo above shows Skool during the day, but I think the interiors look best at night. Ultimately it’s all about the food.

Small plates

  • ceviche: not too much lime, which lets you taste the freshness of the fish in all its glory.
  • crab cakes: the best I’ve ever had with a lot of fresh crab meat, very lightly breaded; the sauce is an extremely delicious light Hollandaise, not a goopy mayonnaise-y mess, and I was sorely tempted to lick the sauce off the place.
  • tuna tartare: this was the substitute starter after they ran out of the albacore, and it was divine. Again, very fresh and lightly spiced with wasabi, accompanied by little toasts.

There are other small plates such as the sardines (pictured below) and Hokkaido scallops, which I will try next time.

roasted sardines at Skool

Roasted sardines at Skool

Main dishes

It was almost impossible to choose from among the main dishes, but one must choose. I had the squid ink spaghetti in a delicate Thai broth with squid and shrimp (pictured below). It is somewhat spicy and indeed very delicious. I found the portion to be quite large and did not manage to finish it but if you are a hungrier, bigger person, you should be delighted.

My dining companions had the pan-grilled salmon filet with sautéed seasonal beans, broccoli de cicco, and summer tomato salad. I took a bite out of the salmon and marveled at its freshness and the delicate sauce sprinkled over it.


Not too difficult to settle on dessert. We had the lavender panna cotta (pictured below), a light concoction subtly flavoured with lavender, and the Japanese flan, not as sweet as the traditional flan. Both were scrumptious!

lavender pannacotta

Lavender panna cotta

In summary, I would definitely come back to Skool and try it out for lunch (when and if the sun does emerge in this part of the world). The outdoor patio at night would also be a great place to hang out on warm evenings. What I do like about Skool is that the tables are not scrunched together like they do in other restaurants. So you have privacy and the noise levels are low.

Note: as of this writing, Skool doesn’t have a liquor license yet so you can bring your own wine, beer and sake (no corkage fee).

Skool restaurant
1725 Alameda Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
+1 415 255 8800

* * * * * * * *
Skool on Urbanspoon

About Esme Vos

Esme Vos is the founder of Mapplr, a travel site featuring boutique hotels, luxury resorts, travel guides and restaurant reviews. You can find her on and Twitter.