The Montavilla Jazz Festival (MJF) is pleased to announce that Ya Hala is a supporting sponsor of the 2015 festival. We recently spoke with Ya Hala’s manager, Pascal Attar, about the restaurant, the Montavilla neighborhood, and MJF. This is what we learned:

Pascal’s parents, John and Mirna Attar, opened Ya Hala seventeen years ago. Since then, they have welcomed regulars and newcomers as family. The interpersonal connection the Attars have with their customers makes Ya Hala a true Montavilla gem.

Pascal has fond memories of crossing the street to Dickson’s Drugs (now Country Cat) and buying a Jolt cola and two Mr. Goodbar candy bars, and returning to the restaurant to enjoy his prizes.

Pascal didn’t always plan to work for the family business. In college, he studied political science — hoping to some day help solve the problems in the middle east. He admits that selling falafel is a little bit easier.

Pascal is a musician and has a strong love for music and musical artistry. He cites Frank Zappa as one of his favorite musicians, appreciating Zappa’s ability to span multiple genres (something Montavilla Jazz Festival’s headliner, Darryl Grant may demonstrate on Saturday!). Pascal sponsored the Montavilla Jazz Festival because of his love for music and because he wants to see Montavilla really take off.

Fun fact: Mirna Attar is a self-taught chef. Pascal says that in the beginning she couldn’t cook at all. Today she is known throughout the region and beyond for her amazing culinary skills.

8005 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97215
(503) 256-4484
Monday – Friday 11:00am – 9:00pm
Saturday – 9:00am – 9:00pm
Sunday – 9:00am – 2:00pm