Last year, Jenn Louis announced plans to open an Israeli concept in Los Angeles—her first operation outside of Portland. Instead, she rehabbed her flagship Lincoln into an Israeli-themed restaurant, Ray, inspired by Louis’s heritage and youthful memories of working on a kibbutz in Arava. Ray is officially open today, Friday, March 24, cooking up all the shakshuka, tahini, and flatbread you can handle.

An early menu shows Middle Eastern ingredients amping up Portland-friendly formats. A tahini Caesar comes with dill, walnut, and sultana; tomato and egg-based shakshuka with merguez sausage is sized for four diners, and there’s a shawarma burger: two lamp patties topped with harissa, and optional eggs, corned beef bacon, and foie gras. There’s also plenty of greenery to go around. Think garnet yams with ras el hanout brown butter, beet hummus and labneh, and a spring Israeli salad with cucumber, radicchio, celery, parsley, and lemon.   

Louis’s own cocktail menu matches the food’s strong Israeli theme—especially the Askenazi, mixed with vodka, kahlua, and tahini. A few wine pours from Israel and Lebanon round out the short drink list. 

The 75-seat dining room now includes to big communal tables, complete with dim sum-style lazy Susans for sharing, and an art centerpiece, reading “Welcome,” in Hebrew and Arabic. Click on the slideshow above for a sneak peek at Ray’s menu.

Ray
3808 N. Williams Ave
5:30–9 p.m. Tue–Thu
5:30–10 p.m. Fri–Sat
503-288-6200

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