Gang Kitchen, Opening Tonight in Downtown San Diego

December 10, 2012

Southern California Restaurateur, Jon Mangini announces the opening 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 acclaim for his casual neighborhood eateries, which feature an industrial warehouse aesthetic and New Haven-style pizzas. However, Mangini’s newest endeavor takes on an entirely new direction by implementing an edgy approach towards Asian cuisine. The venue, located at 345 6th Avenue, will open doors tonight, December 10th, and is appropriately 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 features steel and concrete finishes with the intention to transform portions of the building back to the original raw interior,” says Mangini. ”In actuality, we have de-constructed the space, rather than re-constructed the space.” Elevated 25-foot ceilings 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 complement the exposed surroundings. To give the space a warm and comfortable feel, banquette seating and soft lounge furniture are placed throughout the venue, with dim lighting displaying a masonry wall covered in graffiti.

Gang Kitchen’s culinary program lies 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 such as Grilled Shanghai Beef and Pulled Kutobuku Pork with mango lime sauce is 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 executes a progressive mixology program with a dedicated emphasis on Asian inspired specialty cocktails. In addition, Gang’s beverage curriculum presents 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 on Gang Kitchen, visit the restaurant online.

Gang Kitchen on Urbanspoon