My older sister came to Portland for a job interview last week and I took her to our famous Multnomah Falls and then Vista House on Columbia River Gorge on Saturday. We experienced one of the most spectacular sunsets from the Crown Point that evening. As soon as the sun was lost in the horizon around 9 pm, we were ready to head out and have some dinner. After searching for restaurants for few minutes, we found that most of the places in Portland were closing by 10 pm. We decided to just go to a diner or head home and eat left overs. But then I remembered this Middle Eastern place, called Pasha, was having some kind of a live event tonight (saw it in Facebook). And it was the only place we found open until 11 pm…so, no more thinking, Pasha it was.
This was my first trip to Pasha Restaurant and Lounge. One of my Egyptian friends has been telling me about this place for months now, but never had a chance to try it. It worked out perfectly that night.
Pasha is located in Lake Oswego area and while everything else in that complex was closed by then, Pasha was the only place just getting ready to start the party. And don’t worry about the parking…it has plenty of spaces and if you come a bit early there is a halal/Middle Eastern grocery right beside Pasha. Inside the restaurant, it’s very elegantly decorated with beautiful lights and ambiance. Most of the guests were well-dressed for the venue and event. Pasha looked like an upbeat place where you would want to spend your Saturday night in. My sister and I showed up a little before 10 pm. A very nice lady greeted us and told us there is a cover charge of $10 per person for the live show and dinner was going to be ordered separately.
Our friendly waiter gave us the option of siting inside or outside. Since there was going to be a show, we decided to sit inside. The menu had variety of options from hummus and stuffed grape leaves to falafels, gyros, platters, soups, and salads. We were hungry but weren’t really up for appetizers. So we went straight to dinner items. I had chicken soprano kebab for $18 which came with a stick of chicken kebabs and a stick of ground beef kebab with saffron rice. My sister’s ground beef kebab was the exact same thing, except it had 2 sticks of beef kebabs. They also had something called “Garb” kebab which was basically slices of beef steaks in kebab masala. Fast forward to the moment when we got our dishes, the platter looked big in portion with lots of rice and meat (nor my sister or I could finish our meals)…with one lonely grilled roma tomatoe. WHAT??? No salad or tahini/yogurt sauce? We had to get the cucumber and yogurt sauce for $3 on the side to save our meal that night, otherwise that plate would have been one dry meal. I wish they cut down on the rice portion and added some fresh salad. That would complete the plate perfectly.
The food came pretty quickly, given that it was kind of busy. I won’t say the food was either awesome or too bad. It was just OK, yes…just very mediocre style Middle Eastern food. Don’t get me wrong, it tasted good…but didn’t really have that wow factor. But thanks to that cucumber and yogurt salad to our rescue…otherwise it would have been very hard to swallow the dry rice and kebabs.
The show started right around when our food came. It was mostly group and solo belly dancing by these 4 or 5 beautiful young ladies. One of them did some tricks too while dancing, which was pretty cool. I am not sure if these same ladies perform whenever they have these live performances or new shows take place every time. But it was nice overall, if you prefer a lively show with your dinner. FYI, make sure to have some cash to tip the dancers when they come to your table, some men came ready with bunch of $1 and $5 bills.
Would I ever go back to Pasha? Hmm…yes, I liked the atmosphere, their pleasant services, and somewhat the show too. I still have to try their appetizers and other dishes from the menu. I would definitely bring my friends here to celebrate an occasion or just to have a good time. It seemed a bit formal when we entered but sometimes I like that business casual environment too. On the final note, although we didn’t try it, Pasha has a hookah bar for $20 per serving…let me know how it is if you ever try it.