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“Lebanese food with generous portions at a great price” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ya Hala Lebanese Cuisine

Ya Hala Lebanese Cuisine
8005 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215-2343
503-256-4484
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Ranked #126 of 3,617 Restaurants in Portland
Price range: $1 - $20
Cuisines: Lebanese, Middle Eastern
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romance, Special occasions, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Dinner
Portland, Oregon, United States
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Lebanese food with generous portions at a great price”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

Great place for a meal whether dining alone or with a large group. If dining with a large group (5 or more), there are options to eat family style with generous portions of hummus, tabouli, kabobs, and more. The pita bread tastes homemade and you can get an endless supply.

I ordered the veggie Mezza which is a sampler appetizer of hummus, baba ghanoush, tabouli, stuffed grape leaves, and falafels. I also ordered the lamb kabob. There was plenty to eat and I have leftovers for a second meal.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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69 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    45
    20
    3
    1
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Portland, Oregon
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Valentine's Day at Ya Halla”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

Had a great meal at Ya Halla's on SE Stark for Valentine's Day dinner. We went early to avoid the rush as they don't take reservations and were seated immediately. They had a special, but we had decided ahead of time to try their chicken kabob and their lamb kabob.

We were delighted with our selections. They were both excellent. My lamb was moist and tender and set on a bed of rice that was also very good. It had a tahini sauce that really complimented the dish. My wife's chicken kabob was as good and the dinners came with a house salad.

We both had a beer for drinks as we were going home to top off the evening with a good bottle of wine.

The service was excellent and all in all we will be back again.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Washington
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Surprisingly interesting, excellent quality, good value”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

We all want to go to Ya Hala again!
My wife and I went there on a lark for one of our son's last evening with us for many months ( :( ).
What a surprise--so much to choose from, yet each dish unique. My vegetarian artichokes were like nothing I expected and only wonderful. My wife's kabob went far beyond the call of duty as did my son's steak meal. Even the pita bread was outstanding. C. E., our server was knowledgable, helping us pick and choose. The kitchen made up the food promptly: appetizers came quickly (we were famished) and the main course exactly at the right time thereafter

What would I fix? A number of things, that fortunately didn't add up to the threshold of annoying:
1. Lebanese/middle eastern music was at a volume just below annoying. By the end of our 2 hours, I'd had quite enough. Recommendation to the chef: turn it down a bit more. Allow some downtime between tunes. Frankly, I think there is plenty of atmosphere without it.

2. Restaurant had a wonderful tea selection--but very disappointing to be handed a tea bag and a cup of by-now-cooled off water. Do it right like everything else! Tea bag, cup and pot of nearly boiling water. Quite simple, makes a huge difference.

Not crazy about the decor but the somewhat garish wall decorations and faux-old-wall painting could be ignored. The door to the outside needs a bit of an atrium; I pitied the poor souls who had tables neaby: as the door opened every few minutes, they had to submit to the Arctic Jetstream treatment.

However, all said and done, we'll go back--I hope many times.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monmouth, Oregon
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Best Lebanese Food in Portland”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

Located on a funky part of Stark street, this restaurant serves fabulous Lebanese cuisine at very reasonable prices. Start with the veggie Mezze which comes with hummus, baba ganooj, falafel, stuffed grape leaves, and pillows of bread. Then have one of the many delicious main courses such as lamb shank or chicken kabob. Service was friendly and efficient. The flavors of the food "pop" and are memorable. I cannot wait to go back.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Portland, Oregom
Top Contributor
122 reviews 122 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
“Better Than Ever”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

In Portland, where newly acclaimed chef-owned nouveau bistros seem to sprout as plentifully as the rain-induced greenery, it is something for a venerable standout such as Ya Hala to grow with the times and yet remain loyal to its bedrock past: the best Lebanese food I have ever tasted. A larger dining room now makes the place more accessible and an updated menu includes many savory gluten-free options (without, alas, the home-baksed pita). The veggie mezzo is a delight (and a bargain since one feeds at least two), the brick oven-fired babaganoug unlike any I have tasted anywhere, the lamb, chicken and kafta kabobs tender and tasty (try the sampling plate of one each) and the lamb shank and shawarma superb. I have sent many people to Portland's Montavilla neighborhood to try Ya Hala and received nothing but grateful reports. And do save time to browse through the Middle Eastern grocery next door. But get there early or late Monday through Saturday. Like Melina Mercouri sang, never on Sunday — that's the day Ya Hala's owners cook for themselves!

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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