By Katie Ayoub
January 9, 2020
The Exchange is a restaurant in Los Angeles housed in the Freehand LA hotel. It runs a multi-cultural menu inspired by California, but filtered through an Israeli lens. In other words, it serves global mash-ups.
But throughout the menu, and as seen in this Lamb Kebab, there’s a modern approach that captures the spirit of a few of our trends. Alex Chang, executive chef, reflects an elegance and focus in his flavor building.
In preparing the Lamb Kebab, he builds it almost like a modern bowl, starting with an unexpected sauce pipián, which is a green mole from Mexico. He adds flavorful braised Swiss chard, then perches a heavily seasoned and charred lamb kebab overtop, pulling from the Eastern Med and the Balkans with allspice, coriander, nutmeg, black pepper, cardamom and cumin.
The final component brings in that Israeli flavor touch with a pistachio tahini. “The pistachio tahini is a bit sweet and has the texture of a thin nut butter,” says Chang. “It pairs nicely against the pipián, which is bright and spicy from the tomatillo and Serrano chiles.”