Highsnobiety

As The Hundreds co-founder Ben Shenassafar said on Instagram, he "never wanted to open" a restaurant. And, yet, one right time and one right place later, The Benjamin has opened in Hollywood.

"Last year, something changed. My gut told me it was time," Shenassafar recalled. "I’m not sure why, or what happened, but that feeling was there. ... It was time."

The Benjamin Hollywood is a classy joint but it's also classically inviting, intended to evoke what the restaurant's press release describes as "classic American hangouts."

Think the sort of fine but friendly dining typical of Hollywood's golden age and you're likely most of the way there.

With support from famous friends like sought-after artist Josh Vides, designer Mike Amiri and his The Hundreds co-founder Bobby Kim — plus partners Jared Meisler and Kate Burr — Shenassafar opened The Benjamin Hollywood on June 25.

The first guests through the door were treated to elevated examples of casual dishes like chips and dip, baked potatoes, New York strip steak and roasted branzino, which chef Johnny Cirelle serves whole and peps up with red chimichurri and a dash of charred lemon.

Drinks are similarly familiar but also not really, as self-described "master of cocktails" Nathan Oliver has devised everything from non-alcoholic iterations of favorites like the Tom Collins to a signature house martini (accompanied by many other tasty 'tinis).

The vibe is complete, extending to the staff's uniforms — LA-made chore coats designed by The Hundreds — and curated tunes, selected by The Hundreds' many talented friends.

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First to the mic are producer Alexander Spit (Mac Miller, Duckwrth, Earl Sweatshirt) and in-demand DJ Errol Chatham.

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