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FIRST LOOK: Pacific Standard

Exec chef and Top Cheffer Giselle Wellman comes home


Fat City is reopened! No, that’s not right. China Camp is reopened! No, not right, either.

But the iconic restaurant spot on the west edge of Little Italy has new life. You know the one. It used to have all that awesomely garish neon signage at the corner of Pacific Highway and Hawthorne Street. You passed it every time you flew somewhere. It laid waste for a while. Parts were sold. The ornate wooden bar ended up at Karina’s in Downtown.

Now, SoCal-based hotelier T2 (Hard Rock Hotel, San Diego) and restaurant developers New School (Avec Nous, Salt Air) have teamed to open Pacific Standard Coastal Kitchen, a 4,100 square-footer dedicated to the memory of San Diego’s once-great fishing village lore.

The executive chef? San Diego native Giselle Wellman. She worked under a couple of chefs you may have heard of, including Thomas Keller (Bar Bouchon and Bouchon Bakery in L.A.), Jean George (Nougatine at Jean Georges, NYC), and Mario Batali (Del Posto, NYC). Then she became the youngest female executive chef in L.A. at The Petrossian, and competed on last year’s Top Chef.

Also on board is chef de cuisine Ami Cisneros (ex-JRDN), and creating the beverage program are New School spirits expert Dino Balocchi (Longman & Eagle, Chicago; Dirty Laundry, L.A.) and sommelier Hayden Felice (Craft, New York; Trois Mec, L.A.)

Hefty resumes all around. A pretty significant homecoming for Wellman. And what a new home she's got. Take a look for yourself below.

It’s soft-opening as we speak. So you can go, but be patient/gentle/kind until the bugs are worked out.

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