Portland >Food & Dining > Ya Hala Lebanese Cuisine
8005 SE Stark St, Portland, OR | Directions 9721545.519248 -122.581267
Neighborhoods: Montavilla, Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Program
Delicious neighborhood Lebanese restaurant with dreamy baba ghanoush and what might be my favorite veggie mezza platter in town. Be sure to check out their international foods market next door, where you can stock up on rose water, pomegranate molasses, feta and sumac.
Yummiest lebanese food in Portland! – OMG you have got to try the moughrabieh! It is like what would happen if I had a sweet old Lebanese grandmother who just happened to be the best home cook in the world and she was making me an extra special dish for my birthday. Two separate bowls, one with braised beef shank in a rich brothy sauce, one of braised chicken, perfectly seasoned, served with a dish of flavorful Israeli type (large grain) couscous and a big spoonful of thick whole milk yogurt. This is REAL, REAL food, not some sort of contrived restaurant dish that is trying to be as good as homemade. My boyfriend was totally jealous when I ordered this and he ordered something else (we don't even remember it compared to the delights of the moughrabieh). Get a couple of light mezza to start and then share this and you will be so satisfied. We have also tried several of the various mezza and they are all great. I don't usually order kebab because I don't think they're very good most places, but here they are indeed tender and well-seasoned. The Veggie Mezza sampler is a great deal, as it is a surprisingly large amount of food, sometimes we are so full after just sharing it that we can't believe we still have an entree to eat and end up taking a lot of food home. So yes, I think this restaurant is a great value, by the way. And finally, the service is pleasant and friendly. One time we had a problem where two sisters who work there each thought the other one was taking care of our table and so we didn't get any service for quite a while but I think that was an isolated incident and actually it was kind of funny.
Yummy every time! – True that sometimes the food can take a while (up to thirty five minutes), but every dish is cooked to order and well worth the wait. There is an extensive appetizer menu to help pass the time while you wait for your main entree. It is a little weird how the food trickles out one plate at a time, but it appears to be a vey small kitchen with not a lot of staff. Highly recommend the stuffed artichoke heart platter. This place is very friendly to omnivores and herbivores alike.
The best time to go is off peak hours, the service, timing, and noise level are all improved at these times.
My new favorite restaurant! – I found Ya Hala in the AAA travel guide while trying to find a hotel in Portland. It was a little hard to find, but WOW! This is the best restaurant I have eaten at in a long time. The food was excellent and a great price. I found my new favorite dish-the vegetarian kibbeh. Everything we had was very tasty, and I enjoyed the smallish portions so we could try a variety of different dishes (they were still bigger than we imagined and we had plenty of leftovers). I would definitely give Ya Hala a try if you haven't been there before. I will be back again and again!
Good food, with a surprise – The food is wonderful but on a Friday be prepared to wait for a table and your meal. The service was good, however I decided to pay close attention to the kitchen to see how it works and was appauled to see who I think was the owner bully her employess when she thought no one was watching. This left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
Holla for Ya Halla – For the most part, I really enjoy this spot. The veggie mezza is great, and foul was excellent. When you get a good server, the experience becomes that much better. Top 2 for lebonese in pdx -
Best Lebanese restaurant in Portland – The food here is amazing and it is very inexpensive for how much you get. The wait can be really really long on the weekends but they are very good about putting you on the wait list as soon as you get there and giving you updates on how long it will be. I definitely think this is the best Lebanese restaurant in Portland.
excellent chocolate cake – I love the chocolate cake at Ya Hala, the kabobs are fantastic, especially on the fragrant bed of rice. This is one of my favorite places in SE. Always good, and very affordable.
Baba from a tin and well below average Fatoush – I have been a regular at Ya Hala since moving to Portland 9 years ago. Agree with all the comments about the service ...its pretty dire at the best of times. I've noticed also that in the last six months the food quality has really slipped. A couple of times recently I've noticed that the Babaganoush tastes processed, exactly like the tinned stuff in the store which is attached to the restaurant. And the Fatoush is not consistent....the last time we were there it had no fresh mint, over ripe tasteless toms and what tasted like low quality olive oil. And way too much crispy pita in there......like they had run out of other ingredients maybe?
The bad service I could live with. But not the bad food. So I won't be returning anytime soon.
Delicious Food, Horrible Service – I've been going to Ya Hala for 4 years. For the first 2, service was average to above average, but the last 2 years it has gone horribly down hill. On several occasions, I've had to walk to the kitchen, and ask where my entree was, because the waitress never brought it and didn't come over when I flagged her. They rarely bring your bill out, and you're forced to track down a waitress and get it, or just leave the money. Tables are often uncleaned.
On the other hand, the veggie mezza plate is a great value, and the entrees tend to be well priced. the baklava and other desserts here are always delicious, although the baklava is over priced. The attached store has a lot of good values as well.
poor takeout – We used to go here alot and loved it. We tried it again recently for takeout and were very disappointed to find how bad the food has gotten.
We got veggie mezza, everything tasted the same. Too much lemon and oil.
The fried cauliflower was oily and tasteless.
The falafel is no longer made from scratch but dry prepackaged "hockey pucks".
They also forgot our hummus which might have been the saving grace, instead they barely get 1 star.
Too bad-another restaurant we won't go back to.
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