Okay, you had me at Bloody Mary, but then add something to it that I have never tried before… and I’m so in. That was the case during a recent brunch at The Exchange, the restaurant inside the Freehand Hotel. The brunch menu offers up The Exchange Bloody Mary ($12) made with their signature Bloody Mary… and wait for it… a side serving of carrot mole that you add at the table. I loved it and gave the Bloody Mary an earthy flavor. Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself.
The Exchange is named after the 12 story vintage blade sign on the side of the building. The menu at The Exchange explores the multi-cultural flavors of urban L.A. through an Israeli lens. The restaurant has a very relaxed Bohemian vibe. We started brunch with the Exchange Breakfast Spread ($18) of house-made labneh, hummus, avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta and manoushe flatbread. It was a nice fresh and clean way to start brunch.
Then we ordered a Malawach Burrito ($16). It was Yemeni flatbread (not a traditional tortilla) filled with scrambled eggs, chorizo, crispy potato, queso Oaxaca and tomatillo salsa. We also got the Exchange Burger ($16) with brown butter, American cheese, lettuce and griddled onion. The food was good. It was a nice departure from the traditional brunch of French Toast and mimosas.
If you are looking for a fresh take on brunch in DTLA, head to The Exchange inside the Freehand Hotel. The service is friendly. The restaurant does add a 3% charge to your check to help cover the cost of health care benefits for the full-time employees.
THE EXCHANGE 416 W. 8th Street (inside Freehand Hotel) 213.395.9531 freehandhotels.com/los-angeles/the-exchange