Name ~ Ya Hala Lebanese Restaurant
Location ~ 8005 SE Stark St.
Portland, Oregon 97216
Food Type ~ Lebanese
website ~ Ya Hala Restaurant
Ya Hala to you! We are so excited to post about this place. Ya Hala has been one of our favorites and we were so stoked to finally have some yummy Lebanese food!
“Ya Hala” means we welcome you! Well, that night, we certainly felt welcomed at this wonderful neighborhood restaurant! This gem of a spot serves the best Lebanese cuisine and hasn’t faltered in quality in all the times we have eaten here.
Ya Hala has absolutely established itself as one of the best places to have Lebanese cuisine. When we first started eating here, the restaurant was just a stark, white place with a few tables. At that time, they also had a grocery store next door.
So, it’s very cool to see Ya Hala grow from a generic little spot to a full-blown restaurant over the years.
Look at it now! We love the faux stone walls and the rich dark colors. Very warm and inviting.
When we arrived, the restaurant was bustling with happy diners. Although it was at peak dinner hour, we were seated quite quickly.
We sat down and ordered some drinks. Then, it was time to decide on what to eat. For us, this is the hardest part about eating out ~ there’s too many yummy things to enjoy.
Of course, Ya Hala’s menu selections were absolutely amazing! Of late, the menu has grown to incorporate some very sophisticated dishes. ~ it’s definitely more than falafel, shwarma and tabouli at this place. So many scrumptious choices! We wanted to eat everything!
Ya Hala Dinner Menu
Wow, it’s such a mouth-watering menu, right? Chef Mirna has added so many delicious items since the restaurant’s inception.
Since this was a food adventure, we decided to be…..well, adventurous. So, our motto for this night was “let’s just go for it.”
Decisions, decisions. After some thought, we decided to go big and ordered the “Chef’s Choice, Family Style Mezza“.
Ok, get ready and take a look at what we had!
Olives, Homous and Baba Ghanouj. The trifecta of appetizer heaven!
The freshly made homous was smooth and garlicky, the baba ghanouj was smoky and creamy and the lebneh was sweet and tangy.
What a great start to our multi-course adventure!
Who loves freshly baked pita bread? We do! Look at those lovely puffy billows of bread. Nothing, nothing can compare to the taste of hot, fresh fluffy bread. We dipped it in the homous, baba ghanouj and lebneh and asked for more! They happily obliged!
Mmmm. Best things ever!
Following the pita bread, were these little herb cheese balls. Very mild in flavor reminiscent of goat cheese, but not as tangy.
Of course, it was a delicious partner to the pita bread. Yums!
Grape leaves were stuffed with rice, bulgur, tomatoes, parsley and onions. So light and refreshing.
Oh, by the way, stuffed grape leaves were the first taste for Papa Chilipino and he gave it a thumbs up. Yay!
Tabouli is the best. Love this salad. Who would have thought that chopped up parsley would taste so good! Well, if you do it the Lebanese way, it’s outstandingly delicious!
And, we felt so healthy while eating it!
Did someone say, “fried artichokes”? Okay, this one was not part of the family mezza but we just had to order it. Fried artichoke hearts were bathed in a garlic cream sauce and topped off with crunchy almonds.
OMG! It was so delicious! The garlic cream sauce was perfectly seasoned and complemented the artichokes so well! We took a hunk of pita bread and just smothered it with the sauce.
Roll our eyes good!
Fried seven spiced meat pies. Wow, you had us at meat pies! These have always been our must-haves! Unfortunately, only three meat pies of smaller proportions came with the mezza dinner, so another order was a must.
Yeh, with all the food that was coming our way, how could we add more meat pies? Well, we are the Hungry Chilipinos ~ we just roll that way, lol!
And…..they were gone in 2.2 seconds!
Lamb meatballs. Yum and yum! We didn’t see this on the menu so the Chef must have made it off-menu. Why, thank you Chef!
We smooshed these lovelies in some pita bread and it made for such a heavenly “sandwich”!
We think this flatbread was off – menu as well. It was seasoned with zaatar spice, topped with sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds. It was very good eaten with the lebneh! And it sure cemented our carb intake for the night!
Awww, meat on sticks. Our favorite! They sat on a bed of basmati rice. (Papa Chilipino loved the rice, by the way.)
On the side, there was some tangy yogurt for dipping. The meat was very tender and juicy ~ just the way it should be!
Ok, the skewers hit the spot and we were getting so full. We took a breather and had thought the skewers were the finale.
But wait, there’s more!
The Chef sent out this yummy green bean dish. What a comforting and homey dish this was.
By this time, we could only take a few bites. But we did our best to enjoy the tender green beans in the lovely sweet tomato sauce.
We wished that our tummies still had space because this dish was fantastic!
Finally, the courses were complete. We ended our wonderful meal with some pistachio and walnut baklava. Very sweet and sticky dessert for those who still had room to eat it. The rest went into a box for a “maybe” midnight snack.
Burp! So full and happy! We counted a total of 15 courses and every dish was absolutely stellar!
The service was great and it was so fun to anticipate each course as they came out!
Thanks Chef Mirna for a wonderful meal! This is a definite re-do the next time we feel “Lebanesey”.
As always, we appreciate you joining us here at the Hungry Chilipinos. If you enjoyed this post or any of our other posts, feel free to share away!
Also, let us know in the comment section, your thoughts about our Ya Hala multi-course adventure and tell us which dish looked the yummiest!
See y’all soon and eat happy foods!
The Hungry Chilipinos