Tableside shawarma, flavored arrack, and a big-name DJ have all come together at a new SE Hawthorne restaurant, Willamette Week first reported. Culture, a new lounge with live music and late-night Wagyu burgers, opened this month with some surprising talent.
Trail Blazers dj OG One, David Jackson, partnered with Zaatar owner Andre Karam to open Culture, a cushy lounge and restaurant with a small stage and lively vibes. Old school Portlanders may remember chef Tim Fuhrman of the long-closed Pine Street Bistro; the chef helped build the menu with Karam, incorporating both of their culinary backgrounds to create an extensive menu of European, Lebanese, and Northern African plates. Beyond dishes like black barley risotto with foraged mushrooms, lamb bolognese with handmade pappardelle, and grilled pita sandwiches, Culture’s main draw is a tableside rotisserie service: Dinner starts with a flurry of mezze, including dolmas, hummus, and lentil soup, followed by a vertical rotisserie stacked with meats like beef sirloin, lamb kafta, or chicken shawarma. The meal is best ordered ahead-of-time, but those looking to relax for an hour or two may order the meal any given night.
Still, Culture is more than just a restaurant — Jackson is handling the space’s “social aspect,” in his words, from playlists loaded with local musicians to a lineup of Portland djs on Friday and Saturday nights until 2 a.m. His son, Nathan Jackson, designed the restaurant’s large mural of local rappers like Cool Nutz and Starchile, a tribute to Portland’s larger music scene. Both he and manager Cameron McNulty wanted Culture to be a thoroughly local spot, from Oregon spirits like Bull Run Distillery bourbon in cocktails to artists like Saeeda Wright on the stage. “I want Portland to feel like, ‘this is us,’” Jackson says.
• Culture [Official]
• Culture [Facebook]
• The Trail Blazers’ In-House DJ OG One Has Opened a Mediterranean Restaurant in Southeast Portland [WWeek]