Street food success story Ronnie’s Kickin’ has been off the streets for weeks now, but don’t worry, owner Ronnie Muñoz hasn’t slowed down. Quite the opposite, in fact: Muñoz is gearing up for a 2022 takeover of an entire Hollywood corner, with multiple restaurant projects set to open in the coming months.
Muñoz, a former fine-dining chef who has worked at spots like Century City’s Craft, spent the bulk of the pandemic cooking fried chicken and other comfort food from his South Los Angeles house, eventually transitioning into a food truck that would pop up at spots like Hi-Lo Liquor Market in Culver City. Now Muñoz has partnered up to take over the corner of Sunset and Tamarind in Hollywood, steps from the Netflix offices and Los Angeles outpost of Emerson College.
Over the years the sprawling, multi-tenant space anchored at 5936 W. Sunset Boulevard has housed Delancey, a casual Italian spot owned by longtime area operator George Abou-Daoud; Mexican restaurant Mission Cantina; a Twin Sliders takeout window; and the Tamarind Ave. Deli, a small sandwich takeaway and grocery space around the corner. After 14 years, Delancey has now transitioned into an online, delivery-only model, with Muñoz opening a new project in that space next year.
First up for the corner building is Besties, a fast food-inspired burger operation working a menu of simple takeaway food (including Impossible meat options) like french fries, seasonal fried pies, and ice cream shakes and soft serve. Besties will take over the former Twin Sliders space, with an eye toward opening in late January or early February 2022.
Muñoz will also be revamping the closed Mission Cantina space, with plans to open a new Mexican restaurant called Todos Santos that will offer fast-casual daytime service and a sit-down dinner menu. Jason Eisner of Party Beer Co. (and previously of Block Party in Highland Park and Gracias Madre in West Hollywood) will oversee the agave-focused cocktails and drinks, and — in line with Eisner’s other spots — Todos Santos will offer a variety of plant-based options on its food menus.
In the corner Delancey space, Muñoz plans to formally open a Ronnie’s Kickin’ standalone restaurant that will pull from his time on the truck while adding comfort food dishes and a full lineup of cocktails. That means fried chicken, sure, along with fast food-familiar dishes like cheddar biscuits, “pizookies,” and other easygoing fare. And, finally, Muñoz says that he’ll open a small takeaway store in the former deli space steps away on Tamarind, though further details on that are still to come.
Suffice it to say, it’s a big get for Muñoz, who — despite being one of the pandemic’s biggest street food success stories — remains very much under the brick-and-mortar restaurant radar. It’s also a big get for Hollywood, undeniably the hottest dining neighborhood of the past half-year. Expect a slew of big openings over the next couple of months, starting with Bestie’s in just a month or so.