The chef behind Ronnie’s Kickin’ opens the first of a string of new restaurants this week
Ronnie’s Kitchen + Cocktails
Chef Ronnie Muñoz had wanted to open a full-service restaurant of his own for years, but when the pandemic hit, the Craft and Paley vet instead turned his attention to Ronnie’s Kickin’ — a fried chicken operation that ran out of his home and then from a leased food truck. Today, Muñoz has realized his dream with Ronnie’s Kitchen + Cocktails, a bricks-and-mortar Hollywood restaurant opening in the former Delancey space, and while it’s not an extension of his fried chicken concept, the chef’s tenders, fried chicken sandwiches and loaded fries are all on offer, along with salads, a gourmet spin on a deep-fried whole onion, confit wings, a skillet cookie and other American fare.
Ronnie’s, which also offers draft beer and classics-minded cocktails, is the first of four adjacent restaurants from Muñoz and business partner Rob Vinokur (Joe’s Pizza, MadLab Coffee). Besties Burgers, which opened today in the former home of Twin Sliders, sells burgers, vegan burgers, fries and plant-based soft serve, while Todos Santos will be a more upscale Mexican restaurant serving tacos, ceviches and whole vegetable cooking, with items cooked over live fire in the former Mission Cantina space. The final restaurant to open will be a New York-inspired bodega serving chopped cheese sandwiches, a New Jersey-style sloppy Joe, and bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches in the old Tamarind Avenue Deli. Ronnie’s Kitchen + Cocktails is open from 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday to Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
5960 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, instagram.com/ronniesonsunset
Smoke City Char Bar
A new barbecue spot is headed to the Arts District this week, offering meats smoked on-site, cocktails and classic sides. Smoke City Char Bar, from a team that also operates Paseo in Mill Valley, opens March 25 at the base of the Aliso development complex. Executive Chef Omari Williams (formerly of the Standard hotel in West Hollywood, the Meat Cellar and Punch Bowl Social) will oversee the L.A. restaurant’s kitchen with meats — as well as seafood and vegan options — that can be ordered as sandwiches, salads or entrées with sides and sauces; they include sausage, baby back ribs, tri-tip, brisket, jackfruit, salmon and chicken. Sides include burnt-ends mac and cheese, baked beans, skillet cornbread and potato salad, while other dishes, such as honey-barbecue wings with gorgonzola cream or hickory-smoked watermelon, are available as bar bites and appetizers. Smoke City Char Bar is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and from 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.
899 Traction Ave., Los Angeles, (213) 935-8194, smokecitycharbar.com
A prolific Taiwanese dumpling shop launches its first U.S. location on Friday. Bafang Dumpling, with more than 1,000 outposts in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong, will open in City of Industry with handmade steamed dumplings, griddle-fried pot stickers, noodle bowls and Taiwanese snacks such as popcorn chicken, soups and pickled vegetables, along with soy milk and teas. The casual new spot will open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
1552 S. Azusa Ave., Ste. B, City of Industry, (949) 777-5127, bafangdumpling.com
Workshop Kitchen + Bar
Palm Springs dining stalwart Workshop Kitchen + Bar is set to open in Los Angeles this spring, taking over the former Odys + Penelope space on La Brea Avenue. The long-planned expansion from chef Michael Beckman is set to finally open in April after roughly three years of waiting and pandemic delays. Beckman is bringing a few classics from his original farmers-market-inspired restaurant and bar, while adding a few L.A.-exclusive items inspired by local farmers markets — including an L.A.-only tasting menu.
127 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, workshopkitchenbar.com
Broad Street Oyster Co. GCM
After its Santa Barbara expansion in January, Malibu’s Broad Street Oyster Co. is now heading east: The modern seafood shack will bring its uni-topped lobster rolls, burgers and fried clam strips to downtown’s Grand Central Market. Broad Street Oyster Co., which also operates in the nearby weekly food event Smorgasburg, is set to take over the former Prawn stall and is expected to open in May.
317 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, broadstreetoyster.com
L.A. County’s massive 15-day food celebration featuring prix fixe meals and specials is back. In its spring iteration, DineLA returns April 1-15 with more than 230 participating restaurants, including newcomers such as the Arts District’s Yangban Society, Miracle Mile’s Fanny’s and downtown’s Loam. Meal deals can be found for as little as $15, with dinners by and large capped at $65 per person.
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