101B Cooper St
Santa Cruz, CA 95060Neighborhood:
MediterraneanPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.lailirestaurant.com/
- Phone: 8314234545x
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM; Dinner: 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM, Friday and Saturday: 5:00 - 10:00 PM
Open Tuesday - Sunday
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Afghan, Mediterranean
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Bar Dining, Counter Seating, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
- Private Party Facilities: Let Laili host your next event. Our large space and beautiful garden patio are perfect for weddings, receptions, showers, graduation parties, birthdays, private cocktail parties, fundraisers and much more. We are happy to work with you to accomodate a variety of party styles and budgets.
- Private Party Contact: Michelle Naklowycz 8314234545x
- Special Events: Laili is a great location to host a variety of special events from small intimate weddings, and receptions to showers, birthdays and corporate events. We offer a charming garden patio which seats up to 50 guests and for a cocktail reception can accommodate 65. We also offer a spacious dining room with seating for 100 guests and cocktail reception for 120. If you wish to book the entire restaurant we can accommodate 150 guests seated or 185 guests for a cocktail reception.
A word from Laili
For centuries a five thousand mile trade route has joined the Mediterranean to China through Afghanistan and India. Known mostly for the Silk Trade, the Silk Road has acted as a conduit of ideas, cultures, music, food & spices throughout all of its regions. Laili aims to bring the age old flavors and traditions of the Silk Road to life by creating a positive and relaxing environment with a culturally rich and flavorful dining experience.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Laili - Best Restaurants in Santa Cruz ›
Laili reviews from OpenTable diners
216 reviews since May 20, 2014
- Ambiance4.5Noise LevelModerate
great for outdoor dining (154)fit for foodies (140)special occasion (113)romantic (96)neighborhood gem (89)great for lunch (82)good for groups (54)hot spot (29)notable wine list (24)great for brunch (19)scenic view (15)kid-friendly (14)late-night find (12)vibrant bar scene (3)Show More
- Great experienceNinaDined on 9/14/2014Really enjoyed the food a lot! Vey fresh and delicious .. The bolani bread was outstanding. Loved the patio setting.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great find!Luv2eatoutDined on 9/13/2014Dinner was an excellent experience from start to finish: service, food, special attention. Our waitperson (Stacey?) was friendly, helpful, and a pleasure the entire evening. Everyone loved their dinners.Special Features:
- Our new favorite restaurant!CaliWomanDined on 9/12/2014We went for my husband's birthday - his second time here, my 3rd. We ate outside in the courtyard which was very nice! The service (I believe our waiter's name was Matt) was perfect. Not overbearing but kept watch from afar and made great recommendations! Friendly, quiet spoken, just the perfect waiter. Then there was the food...not one compliant, except a little too much! We had the naan, butternut squash with mint and yogurt appetizer, the caesar salad with cilantro and mint, the flatbread with tomatoes and fennel, the lamb (cooked perfectly), and for dessert the Rose Meringue with balsamic strawberries. topped off with the Malbec wine. I'd do the exact same menu again but there are just so many good things to try.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Snooty placeOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 9/12/2014My wife and I have dined here before, and at the time I thought "the food is good, but what a snooty place". However, since my wife wanted to go again for our 24th wedding anniversary, I made reservations for 5pm (to leave time for a movie afterward). We live in the mountains, about 45 minutes away. With traffic on a Friday night, it's hard to judge the time to drive in. So we arrived at 4:53 and told the hostess we had reservations for 5. She informed us that the restaurant didn't open until 5 pm and to come back in 7 minutes in a snooty manner. So we went to another restaurant instead that was more our style.
- great, imaginative foodORtoWADined on 9/11/2014And at fair prices. Gorgeous old building. A real gem in an otherwise somewhat unimpressive town.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent lunch venueGJlunchDined on 9/11/2014The outdoor patio is enclosed by vine covered walls, creating a beautiful setting for lunch. Dinner may be equally delightful on the patio; however I have not been there for dinner. The menu offers delicious, interesting dishes at a reasonable price. I particularly enjoy the Lamb wrap that comes with a small salad that is sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and tossed with a delightful dressing.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Mediterranean in Santa CruzKMViola2Dined on 9/10/2014Delicious food in an aesthetically pleasing venue with great waitstaff. For an appetizer, we had the Mediterranean plate (house made naan!), followed by a beet salad and a cilantro caesar (both fresh and flavorful), followed by kabob (mine filet mignon, his lamb). The kabob meat was tender and well seasoned, with three amazing chutneys on the side. Definitely a must if you're in Santa Cruz and want something different from the usual American or Italian fare!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Perfect spotRobinDined on 9/9/2014We were celebrating our 30th anniversary and someone suggested Laili might be a good spot. They were right. The setting outside on the patio was filled with beautiful ivy, and we had a great private table for two. Our waitress, Rebecca and the server were both attentive and professional. The food was delicious. Their wine and beer list was interesting and different. We enjoyed new wines for us and they were great.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- AmazingOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 9/6/2014Being from out of town, it was hard to choose a restaurant - luckily for us, we found Laili (and made reservations). Food was outstanding - but the noise level really diminished the experience a bit. Still, highly recommended.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Simple menu, great foodsimonssaysDined on 9/6/2014We found this place while visiting thru Trip Advisor. We were very happy with the choice. I parked while my wife met the hostesss to secure our reservation. The place gets very busy at 6 and later. We arrived at 5:45 booking thru Open Table. Had the Med. app...very good. Wife had the calliflower entree with some spiced sides of hummis and yogurt...Very tasty. I had the Lamb Shank...Meat fell off the bone. Place is very open, so the noise level increases as the place fills up. We were there for an hour, for apps, salads and main meal. We noticed some looks of free up our table being cast our way, as the wait was growing. I don't feel an hour is that bad for a two top paying $80. Also had this amazing lime drink ginger, ale and mint.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Beautiful eveninggettingalifeDined on 9/2/2014Both my husband and I had been to Laili for lunch with other people and chose the restaurant to celebrate our anniversary together. We were promptly seated (we did have a reservation). We had a very disappointing experience with our server, who was very inattentive and seemed like she really didn't care if we were enjoying our experience or not. We had to ask twice for the starter that other tables got within moments of being seated. We were done with our first glass of wine before it arrived and dinner followed within a few moments of this. This was not in line with our other previous experiences and it won't keep us from going back and trying it again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- C & S DautoffSantaCruzGemDined on 8/31/2014Just love this place, wonderful food, lunch or dinner gem, great service!Special Features:
- Good foodladiesweekendVIPDined on 8/31/2014nice interior and looked like a beautiful patio outside. The food was good. very freshSpecial Features:
- poorfoodand overpricednot4qualitydiningDined on 8/30/2014Chicken undercooked despite long wait, baklava should either be outsourced or removed from dessert menu, potatoes have ice box taste( not good sign for quality restaurant. Wines highly overprice and restaurant rating highly inflated. Best feature was the service.
- Perfect every timeDisappointedDined on 8/29/2014Love Laili. There aren't many restaurants in Santa Cruz that have a sophisticated ambiance with great food and equally good service. Laili's food is interesting, well-crafted, beautifully presented and delicious. Our party of four made very different choices and each was happy.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/28/2014I would recommend Laili's to my friends and visitors. It is one of the best restaurants in Santa Cruz for it's food and ambiance.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great!KumaKiDined on 8/27/2014This was a great experience! We sat out in the court which is quite nice. The noise level in the court was quiet. Inside sitting is quite noisy.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 8/27/2014Well over an hour for lunch to arrive at table......................................Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Explore this gem!EagervoreDined on 8/26/2014The menu was as much fun to explore as to sample. The jalapeño cilantro cream on flatbread was delicious, also the ginger apricot salsa. Pomegranate eggplant was rich and velvety with perfect counterpoint of roasted chard.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Food is amazing!DandCDined on 8/26/2014We arrived a bit early and were seated right away... good thing, since it quickly filled up. So many great choices that it's hard to decide what to order. Started with the Med plate (dips), which were all unique and delicious. Went on to the chicken kebobs and pomegranate eggplant - both so good, with lots of different flavors and spices. Yummmmm! We wanted to try so many things that we'll definitely be back. Also, service is surprisingly un-Santa Cruz - friendly, knowledgeable and efficient.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Birthday Dinner with great FriendsOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/24/2014Our server came with a smile from ear to ear, and never lost it! She easily and with enthusiasm adjusted to any request we made, for instance, the flatbread for hors d'oeuvre. She monitored our (6 folk) progress and happily timed our courses for us, rather than for the cook. The food was exquisite, and we are grateful to the young sheep who gave their selves for us.Special Features:
- Lovely lunchDinnyLouDined on 8/23/2014The food was delicious as always and the service also excellent. I enjoy your Mediterranean appetizer plate very much and always order it as soon as I arrive so I have something to munch on while deciding what I might also choose from your diverse menu. My son had the small Greek salad from which I had a few bites, very nicely made, and the beef kebob, I chose the lamb kebob. Both were excellent and perfectly cooked. The accompanying sauces, tasty. I couldn't pass up dessert so I ordered the Cardamon Creme Brulee and he chose the Cardamon Rice Pudding with Mango...very enjoyable! A pleasant way to spend a summer afternoon.Special Features:
- PapaYogiVIPDined on 8/23/2014Possibly the best food in Santa Cruz. The appetizers are a must, I can make meal out of them. The Nan bread is fabulous.Special Features:
- Delicious surprisePsmyDined on 8/22/2014I'd heard that Laili was good but I didn't expect such exotic, tasty & beautifully presented cuisine . The eggplant entree had a burst of flavor that balanced savory & sweet.Special Features:
- Friendly ambience!OpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 8/21/2014Enjoyed the food, received excellent service and was able to converse with my friend without feeling pressured to leave. Great place!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Getting to be a habit!!franKVIPDined on 8/20/2014Especially for lunch. The lamb burger is wonderful.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- one of the best in Santa Cruznewfoodieplace4uDined on 8/19/2014If you are spending any time in or just passing thru Santa Cruz, Laili is a must stop. It is rare to find a great restaurant without a redundant menu. That is variations on the same theme of duck, beef or poultry. Laili has managed to exactly that. Rather than describing one dish that I liked in detail, I suggest you Google the dinner menu where the components of their dishes are revealed. My friends and I each ordered a dish to share. We ended up with a "doggie bag" for another full meal. Coming from San Francisco, a successful dining experience is measured by finding a restaurant fit for "foodies" with a middle-class budget. Laili accomplishes exactly that.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Would go againlin2471Dined on 8/19/2014We had a nice anniversary celebration for our friends. they had never been there, and really thought it was great. My only complaint is that, although difficult to do, the restaurant should have divided the lamb shank dinner as requested.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Birthday dinner failPhatAtHeartDined on 8/17/2014My uncle cooks really awesome Persian food & we were hoping to experience the same flavors that my girlfriend & I are used to. Although, the ambience was amazing, the food looked amazing, I was a bit disappointed on the noise level & quality of the food. Our beef kabob & lamb shank lacked flavoring & our rice wasn't as fluffy or buttery as it could of been. I ordered a glass of wine & the server didn't noticed that it had coffee grains in it. The table was wobbly & we had to wait around to get drink refills. I wanted to make her birthday dinner special & I don't mind paying for great food but I was embarrassed cuz I bragged a bit before showing up due to reading prior reviews.Special Features:
- SophieDined on 8/16/2014Food and service were great. One dinner didn't like her entree (everything else was delicious) and the waiter took it off the bill and gave her a free dessert. The manager came over to check that everything was ok. The waiter offered to replace the entree with something else, but the other diners were already finished. The manager came over to ask what was wrong with the dish for future reference for the chef. We were very pleased with how they handled the situation. The squash Bolani appetizer was a standout and the dressing on the house salad was also delicious. This place pleased our 2 meat eaters, our pescatarian and our vegan.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not Great Food, Great Outdoor Spaceluv2eatDined on 8/16/2014We had previously eaten lunch in the outdoor courtyard and found it delightful. It is one of the prettiest places in Santa Cruz to eat. Five star ambience and 3 1/2 to star food. But, the other evening when we went for dinner, we had a different opinion. We ate in the indoor dining room, the ambience was average, and it was noisier than we prefer. Our server was attentive. We ordered meat dishes and each one was overcooked and dry, in spite of a request for rare. It was, at a minimum, medium well done. The baklava for dessert was flavorless and dry. Our server didn't hesitate to take it off the bill, which we appreciated. We will go again for lunch in the courtyard and give it another chance but will probably go elsewhere for dinner.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Perfect birthday dinnerOpenTable Diner Since 2007VIPDined on 8/14/2014Delicious food in a beautiful setting. We were visiting from the Midwest and are significant foodies. Hannah, our server, was very excited about our selections to share. Highly recommend the roasted cauliflower and the pomegranate eggplant is a delicious flavor. The jalapeño pesto was the perfect sauce. The beet salad was a great starter.Special Features:
- Good placeSFescapeDined on 8/14/2014Food was very tasty- nan with unusual dip, Kadoo Boranee, lamb burger, chicken flatbread and three item combo- we were pleased with our meals! Friendly staff all around. We went for a lunch meeting and were given a quiet garden table. Absolutely will return to give dinner a try.Special Features:
- Great dinner on the patioBHAMSTERSVIPDined on 8/13/2014We enjoyed a great meal on the patio and had perfect and spirited service from Stacy.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- What a treat!jennydoneitDined on 8/10/2014This restaurant is very inviting and well done with a high aesthetic point of view. The real gem however is the food. It is simply prepared but unusual and absolutely delicious. Freshness and high quality abound, and the taste profiles were unusually excellent. Saying it is just Mediterranean isn't accurate - the dishes span further east and inland. The pomegranate eggplant was wonderful and the filet was melt in your mouth tender. The sauces shine and are not your norm - and neither is this restaurant.Special Features:
- birthday dinnerOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 8/9/2014We went to Laili for the first time making reservations on open table a week ahead. We arrived and there were some groups standing at the hostess stand, no hostess. She came up we informed her of our reservation she said nothing then walked away yelling the name of another party. Then she came back gathering menus we asked if there was a delay and she said no I'm going to seat you took us to a table two feet away we sat it was fine our waiter was fabulous. Then we realized there was an outdoor area. The hostess didn't ask us for preference on seating she didn't communicate at all, I think she was a bit overwhelmed but I'm not sure why the restaurant was half full while we were there. The food was amazing!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful Food!contessaconnieDined on 8/8/2014The service was great. The food wonderful. The atmosphere lovely.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Always goodTryLailiDined on 8/8/2014Laili is my favorite restaurant in Santa Cruz - you should try it out.Special Features:
- Atmosphere, ambiance and great foodluv2bringdinerstolailiDined on 8/8/2014A great venue to take out of state, out of town visitors. The atmosphere for the outdoor dining transports you to exotic places. The fountains, ferns and creeping fig on the walls makes for a very peaceful and restful dining experience. The fresh flowers greeting your entrance into this multi level space is so welcoming. This space was transformed from an office building into this incredible restaurant. It is located in the downtown area of Santa Cruz and is just a block off the main street, Pacific Avenue. OH THE FOOD. It is always fresh, with seasonal produce being used, i.e. fresh peach salad with candied walnuts on a bed of fresh greens, as well as local fish specials daily or weekly. The lime-ginger drink is very special.Special Features:
- Great Santa Cruz dining spotgr8wineDined on 8/1/2014Laili's is a warm, comfortable place for diniing in downtown Santa Cruz. Great food, friendly service . Good vegetarian fare. A great place to relax with friends and enjoy good food.Special Features: