From the Restauranteur behind BASIC and URBN comes Gang Kitchen | Opening in Downtown San Diego November 2012

September 9, 2012

Leading Southern California Restaurateur, Jon Mangini announces the lease of a new 5,000 square foot concept in the heart of downtown San Diego.  Mangini—who is best known for launching multi-million dollar projects such as BASIC Urban + Kitchen & Bar (2006) in the East Village and URBN Coal Fired Pizza (2009) in North Park—has garnered national acclaim for his casual neighborhood eateries, which feature an industrial warehouse aesthetic and New Haven-style pizzas. However, Mangini’s newest endeavor will take on an entirely new direction by implementing an edgy approach towards Asian cuisine, while still maintaining the stylish urban appeal that has become his signature mark on the city’s hospitality scene. The venue, located at 345 6th Avenue, will open doors November 2012 and will be called “Gang Kitchen”, which translates to “steel” in Mandarin.

“Gang Kitchen is the concept I’ve been waiting to do the entire time I’ve been in San Diego,” says Mangini, who has brought on renowned international architect, Graham Downes to reinforce his vision. “The freestanding warehouse will feature steel and concrete finishes with the intention to transform portions of the building back to the original raw interior,” says Mangini. ”In actuality, we will be de-constructing the space, rather than re-constructing the space.” Elevated 25-foot ceilings will provide an open- air vibe, and strategically placed design treatments such as backlit, slow moving fans, a massive communal dining table, and a concrete and metal bar-top will complement the exposed surroundings. To give the space a warm and comfortable feel, banquette seating and soft lounge furniture will be placed throughout the venue, with dim lighting displaying a masonry wall covered in graffiti.

Chef Jo Ann Plympton
Effortlessly evolving from lunch to happy hour, dinner and drinks—into a cool and casual nightlife scene with late night dining options, Gang Kitchen’s culinary program will be in the hands of Executive Chef and Partner, Jo Ann Plympton. Plympton has collected over 30 years of experience in the kitchens of distinguished dining destinations in New York, Rome, London, Miami, San Francisco and more. With a menu best described as “Multi-Asian”, dishes (sample copied below) such as Grilled Shanghai Beef and Pulled Kutobuku Pork with mango lime sauce will be served in true Asian fashion, family style, alongside smaller dishes such as Triple Crème Crab Rangoon, Szechwan Lobster Crepes and traditional Asian offerings such as Pho and Ramen. Plympton, who has spent time working alongside the famed Chef Albert Roux at Le Gavroche in the UK, explains that she’s implementing strong French techniques with quality Asian ingredients. “We’re going straight clean and classic with this menu, we’re not messing with anything,” says Plympton. “Jon and I have been talking about this restaurant for over 10 years, and now it’s finally coming to fruition. The first time we tasted everything, it was magic.”

Balancing out a wide variety of hot and cold dishes, Gang Kitchen will execute a progressive mixology program with a dedicated emphasis on Asian inspired specialty cocktails. In addition, Gang’s beverage curriculum will present a premium selection of Nigori, Junmai, Junmai Ginjo and Junmai Daigingo Sakes, as well as cuisine-friendly Asian beers and a handpicked wine list designed to harmonize with the signature flavors found in classic Asian cuisine.

For more information, please visit:

Gang Kitchen Sample Menu:

Steamed edamame/smoked salt
Goat cheese wontons/smokey sesame sauce
Black pepper oysters/cucumber wasabi sauce
Firecracker spring rolls/peanuts, chicken and mustard honey
Szechwan lobster crepes/plum wine and lobster cream sauce
Duck pizzette/house hoisin and scallion
Bbq spare ribs/ sesame honey sauce
Spicy summer shrimp rolls/ green peanut sauce
Steamed shrimp dumplings/ red pepper miso sauce
Crab ragoon/thai chili sauce
Pork potstickers/soy mirin dipping sauce

Crispy calamari salad
Sesame chicken salad
Red chili Caesar
18 vegetable salad

Pan seared noodles/ coconut shrimp broth
Chilled buckwheat noodles with cucumber / kombu broth
Bbq beef pho/bean sprouts, mint and thai basil
Ramen noodles/spicy pork/ sugar snap peas
Gang fried rice/ organic egg/ 7 hour pork/market vegetable
Brown basmati veggie rice bowl
Roasted butternut squash with javin curry
Crispy spinach Steamed market vegetables
Sizzling seasonal green beans with fermented black bean

Bbq salmon-miso glaze
Wok fired whole fish/ginger marinated/red chili dipping sauce
Charred rare tuna/ avocado/wasabi/ sushi rice/seaweed
Five spice natural chicken breast/pad thai/caramelized red onion
California sea bass/lemon jasmine rice
Pulled kutobuku pork/mango lime sauce/seasonal slaw
Eight hour short ribs/ country pickles/spicy mustard
Peking duck/black vinegar/scallion pancake
Grilled shanghai beef/hot oil /cilantro/ shallots/soy/frites
Gang Kitchen on Urbanspoon