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Best Middle Eastern Restaurant Denver 2007 - Ya Hala - CLOSED

Ya Hala

Ya Hala

2100 S. Colorado Blvd.

Denver, CO 80222

303-758-9376

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Readers' Choice: Jerusalem
The space is small and more than a little ragged. The service runs at a pace somewhere between slow-but-friendly and glacial. And the menu seems oddly foreshortened. But at Ya Hala, all that matters is the food -- and the food is absolutely fabulous. The kitchen must be imbued with some kind of natural magic for the deep-but-narrow cuisine of the Middle East, because it turns out unbelievably good roasted chicken, shawarma and baked goods -- particularly the baklava, a dish we'd simply assumed that, like celery, roasted eggplant or the musical stylings of John Tesh, was just not to our taste. But Ya Hala's baklava is food for the gods, a fitting end to a meal that starts with the best hummus in the city (flavored with sumac powder and olive oil) and just goes up from there. The presentations are straightforward, the flavors blunt and lovely, and each plate is given an attention born of complete love of the cuisine -- no shortcuts, no scrimping.
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5 comments
badmoon
badmoon

It is rankings like these that make me doubt the other Best Of at Westword. I am of Middle Eastern origin and have been to countless Middle Eastern places around Colorado, the US, and the world. Ya Hala is not even considered Middle Eastern. Awful food - taste nothing like anything I can identify. Been there 3 times total thinking perhaps the bad experience was an anomaly - it wasnt. 3 bad experiences in a row. Truth hurts, but Westword needs to re-evaluate its approach.

yellayella
yellayella

I love this place especially the baklava. I agree with that guy that the chicken is bland an horrible, but they offer better things like the complimentary soup and hummus, the gyros, the schwarmas are well above average. I havent made rounds to the neighboring mideast places yet but that soup and that baklava is enough to keep me coming back.

ss
ss

Service is awful. After waiting 20 minutes to place an order (this was 2 pm on a Sunday afternoon so very slow), we gave up and left. The food may be worth it but I wouldn't recommend.

tanya
tanya

Having grown up in a Lebanese-American household, I was excited when I looked up and down the menu and saw so much of what came out of my Mom's kitchen. I ordered the vegetarian platter and I loved the hummus, tabouleh, and lubey the best. The rice is delicious, and my friend gobbled up her shish kabob- she seemed to really enjoy it.

B.C.R.
B.C.R.

You must be joking. While getting decent food of any sort in Denver canbe tough, there are actually some reasonable Middle-Eastern choices. Sadly, Ya Hala isn't one of them. That roasted chicken is just awful. Andwhat is going on with the rice? Is that tobasco sauce? The Middle East ofwhat exactly? Further evidence that J. Sheehan should be sent back where he came from.

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