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  • Writer's pictureanemonehb


Updated: Jan 15, 2020


Opening: 2017

Address: 416 W. 8th St., Los Angeles, CA 90014

Website: Freehand Hotels

Developer: Sydell Group. October 2019 The Sydell Group sold Freehand Hotels to UK Hotelier Generator

Chef: Alex Chang


Freehand is a collection of hotels that combine the social culture of a hostel with innovative design, award-winning food and beverage, and a community-driven atmosphere.

Each Freehand houses its own set of restaurants and bars, overseen by top local talent, and inspired by the city they call home.

Hong Kong born, Los Angeles raised Mexican-Chinese chef Alex Chang created a menu that explores the multi-cultural flavors of urban LA through an Israeli lens.

When he took the job at what was advertised to be one of Downtown Los Angeles’ hippest hotels, Chang had zero experience with cooking – or eating – Israeli food, which allowed him to experiment with flavors and ingredients from other cuisines he was very familiar with: Mexican and Asian.


Popular Local Chef – Flavor of the City – Unique combinations of ingredients

In line with the New York Times Food Trend Predictions 2019 the LA foodie loves bold and new flavors - preferably a mix of aromas from different cuisines on the same plate.

Dishes with fermented ingredients as well as sour, funky and spicy flavor profiles intrigue the Kombucha drinking generation.

The carefully crafted cocktail concoctions with “superfood” ingredients such as kefir and tamarind or home-made infusions like “toasted hazelnut infused eagle rare”, place The Exchange’s bar right on trend with its young urban professional clientele.


Burnt Eggplant: Baba Ganoush with bonito flakes (which is shaved Katsuobushi, a Japanese dried, fermented tuna that accentuates the smokiness)

Whole Fried Local Red Snapper: Signature dish, served with noodles inspired by Chinese hand-pulled noodles, dressed in a tahini sauce and peanut dukkah (a North African condiment of ground herbs, nuts and spices).

Melon Salad: grilled cucumbers, ume vinaigrette, aged goat feta, pink peppercorn & shiso


This is the first restaurant in California by the New York based design firm Roman & Williams. The 2002 founded firm creates designs for film sets, private residences, hotels and retail spaces.

Restaurants designed by Roman & Williams in Europe:

- Cantinery, Istanbul

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