Basha (or Pasha, in French) is a Turkish word (Bashaw) of Persian origin (Padshah or Padeshah) which means Lord. The Turks used to use it to signify a high rank in the political system of the Ottoman Empire which is typically granted to governors or generals. Pasha was also an honorific title, the equivalent of "sir". The title seems, originally, exclusively destined for military commanders, but later it was used to distinguish any senior official or any person that the court decided to honor. Thus, this is how each customer is regarded at Basha restaurants. It all started with one man; Mr. Issa, a laureate of Ecoles Hotelieres of Beirut and London. Chef Issa was born in Lebanon and left his homeland at a young age chasing a bright future. In the early 70's, newly arrived from Europe, he made the rounds of the major cities of North America. After observing the state of Middle Eastern restaurants and their ways of doing things, he decided to fill the void. He then created what we might call today "What you see is what you eat", a new concept that illustrates the cleanliness and freshness of the food presented directly to the clients. In 1977, Basha's first restaurant was born. Today, Chef Issa is proud to have served millions of customers. He also created jobs, trained and employed hundreds of employees from whom some decided late to open their own restaurants based on the same concept. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, Mr. Issa thanks his customers for their loyalty and wishes them the best of health.
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