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
221 reviews since May 24, 2014
- Ambiance4.5Noise LevelModerate
great for outdoor dining (158)fit for foodies (143)special occasion (116)romantic (98)neighborhood gem (90)great for lunch (82)good for groups (54)hot spot (29)notable wine list (24)great for brunch (19)kid-friendly (14)scenic view (13)late-night find (12)vibrant bar scene (3)Show More
- 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:
- Excellent DinnerlovethebeachDined on 7/29/2014This was our fifth visit to Laili. As always, it was a wonderful experience. We ate in the courtyard and the ambiance was lovely. The courtyard is protected on all 4 sides so the wind was not a factor. The food is delicious. Everyone who we have taken to Laili has liked it very much. A real winner in Santa Cruz.Special Features:
- Very enjoyable afternoon!DinnyLouDined on 7/29/2014We began with the delicious Mediterranean appetizer plate which gave us a hint of what was to come. I had brought my foodie son for lunch and he was impressed, especially by the unusual peach vinaigrette salad that was the special that day, which he accompanied with his excellent chicken flatbread. I again had the lamb wrap that arrived with a small side salad with pomegranate, so tasty. It's lovely out in the patio and I lingered over the Pistachio Cardamom ice cream with a piece of Baklava while he enjoyed a cup of the French press coffee. I always enjoy my special lunches here and our server Stacy made sure our every wish was attended to.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent food, great serviceURARDined on 7/27/2014The Mediterranean appetizer is a must served with a pitta bread it is simply delicious. I tried their Salmon special and it was simply outstanding! in a previous occasion I tried other dishes and all were good, delicate mixtures of tastes and very reasonable prices. I will definitely visit them again!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent and Unique AppetizerBeckyDined on 7/26/2014The butternut squash with cucumber sauce was excellent. All four of us thought it was a highlight of our dinner. Service was great. Wine was wonderful.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Laili deliverskitmomDined on 7/26/2014We went vegetarian - and were rewarded with amazing flavors and wonderful food combinations. The signature eggplant with pomegranate is a standout, and the cauliflower with chick peas was lovely as well. Great sauces came on the side. Beet salad is a winner, a slightly sweet dressing was nice. Leeks in pasta pillows was a bit less interesting - the pasta was a bit rubbery and the filling bland. The garlic-infused yogurt sauce seems overwhelming in this dish. Dessert was a wonderful chocolate mousse. The Prosecco and ginger cocktail was nice - a bit sweet and not at the level of the meal. We would go back!Special Features:
- Best Service in Santa Cruz!tiffanygDined on 7/26/2014This place was recommended to me by my boss and coworkers. Our waitress was very sweet and the food like nothing I have ever tasted in Santa Cruz. I had the pomegranate eggplant with rice and chard and it was absolutely delicious! We also ordered the Mediterranean dip plate with naan and were not disappointed. We ended dinner with french pressed cardamom coffee and did not at all feel rushed to leave-we talked for a while after dinner.Special Features:
- Laili - What a delight!SCFoodieVIPDined on 7/25/2014This was our first visit to Laili and we will definitely go back! Our party had appetizers and entrees and were especially impressed with the Pomegranate Eggplant and Filet Mignon Kebob. Also, the dip with the naan was extraordinary...not sure what it was but I could have eaten a soup bowl full of it! The outside seating is truly lovely especially as the sun went down. Our server was fabulous. Knowledgeable about the menu, very low key and friendly but also made sure our glasses were always full and plates cleared efficiently. Great food, amazing ambiance, friendly efficient service. What more could you want?Special Features:
- Only One GripeOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 7/25/2014I took my Sweetie to Laili (we'd been wanting to try it for some time) for his birthday and it was lovely in every way. In fact, I couldn't believe how low the check was when it came, so reasonable for this type of restaurant. I have to say though, I was disappointed with the fact that they never brought my guy a birthday dessert. When I made the reservation, I made SURE they knew it was his birthday. Then I had to change the TIME on our reservation and I made it clear AGAIN that it was his birthday, but it was never acknowledged by the staff. That did put a damper on the night for me. I actually asked the hostess if they DO that sort of thing and she confirmed "YES, if you let us know". Well I did, but they didn't. Disappointing...Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Love itspiritplus3Dined on 7/25/2014This is our 2nd trip to Lailis. First visit was because of an invite to a graduation group dinner, which was terrific. We vowed to return, to the patio, and were not disappointed. As before, the food was unique and delicious, service was great. Most portions are a sharable size so we got to try lots of dishes, all were wonderful. This will become our restaurant of choice for special occasions.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- fabulous unique foodOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 7/24/2014We had a great experience here. We were seated on the patio and enjoyed a nice dining atmosphere in a quiet romantic quiet garden setting. Very busy even on a Thursday evening. We were greeted promptly & seated without delay- probably because we had reservations. The food was exquisite- fragrant and delicious. We enjoyed a peach balsamic green salad, butternut squash appetizer as well as kebob entrees and desert. The presentation was lovely. Host and wait staff were super attentive without being intrusive. No comments here regarding wine as we do not drink alcohol. Will definitely return here on our next visit to Santa Cruz.Special Features:
- One of Santa Cruz's best!!PapaYogiVIPDined on 7/24/2014Dining on the patio garden and sampling some appetizers is a true culinary treat. The food is a mix of Mediterranean cultures and it is out of this world. We eat here regularly and have never been disappointed.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Enjoy the courtyard gardenPennyDined on 7/24/2014Lovely and delicious food, nicely presented. The watermelon smoothie was a particular treat, but so is the coffee at Lailì: it has cardamom. This restaurant is dependably enjoyable and has good offerings for vegetarians and vegans as well as omnivores.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- luncheon baby showerfranstidbitsDined on 7/22/2014celebrated a baby shower luncheon, sat outside, wonderful ambience - great food, service was outstanding, absolutely nothing was amiss - highly recommend for any event or just to have lunch or dinnerSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Beautiful restaurant,excellent menuloveparsDined on 7/19/2014Second time eating here. We were running late and the restaurant did a lot to accommodate our reservation. This is a gorgeous restaurant inside and out. We love dining in the outside patio. Everything on the menu is excellent, but the kids portions (kids menu) were pretty small for bigger kids. My 9 year old niece had to order 3 cheese dumpling kids meals ($8 x 3= $24 just for 9 delicious cheese dumplings!). Overall a great restaurant. We will definitely eat here whenever we come to Santa Cruz. Had kids with us and the only con was having to ask for crayons 3 times for the little ones which came towards the end of the meal.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 7/17/2014The food was amazing and the outdoor dining created a beautiful ambience that was very romantic. I have had better service though. Our server was a very sweet could've been around more and provided more service. After the food arrived she did not come back to ask us if we wanted more water and didn't full our wine glasses. With that said I still tipped over 20%. I highly recommend it if you're looking for a place to take that special ladySpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amazing!JanesDrivesDined on 7/13/2014We had an amazing dinner at Laili. The Bolani for our starter was excellent and we especially enjoyed the jalapeño walnut sauce and the lemon yogurt sauce. My husband had their king salmon special. I enjoyed the roasted cauliflower dish. Couldn't have asked for a better experience at such a great price.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great find in Santa CruzOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 7/12/2014My husband and I have lived in Santa Cruz for >20 years but had not been to Laili's before. We will be going back. Great food and ambiance. Totally enjoyed our dining experience.Special Features:
- dinner away from homeMMINNDined on 7/12/2014We were in Santa Cruz for a conference and found Laili on-line. The service was very good, food was more Afghanistan then Mediterranean. Lamb kebab was a bit dry. The 3 bean soup was excellent...the salad not so memorable. The Filet Mignon kebab was rather tough. Nice open interior, great outdoor seating, bathrooms not so convenient. We'd give it another go; trying other menu items next time.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Stellar dining experience4foodieDined on 7/12/2014I have had the opportunity to dine at Laili many times. I find the service, staff, and food to be always fresh, delicious, and a great visual presentation. Patio seating is a plus as you are surrounded by lush plants, and creative seating.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Laili Excels!KMBODined on 7/12/2014I've eaten at Laili several times and the food has always been excellent. The outside patio is surrounded by brick walls covered in ivy - it feels very comfortable - a quiet ambiance. The hospitality / service is outstanding as well. A lovely outing, with fabulous food, whether you go for lunch or dinner.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food and atmosphere!PedroDined on 7/11/2014This is our 4th time dining at Laili and every time we've dined there the food and service has been outstanding. We've eaten on the outside patio twice and like it better there then inside, much quieter and romantic. We would recommend this restaurant to anyone wanting to celebrate a special occasion with food that is a little different than the norm at a very reasonable price. We'll be back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Nouvelle Middle EasternAnnabananaDined on 7/11/2014Unlike any other Middle Eastern restaurant. Not religiously authentic; they include pastas and other non-Middle Eastern items on the menu. Serve naan instead of pita. Best hummus and eggplant dips I've ever tasted. Super fresh salads. Salad at most middle eastern restaurants is perfunctory. Not here. Salmon main course was served with an overly sweet sauce. That's my only criticism of the food. My husband loved the vegi eggplant/pomegranate dish. Waitress was very helpful if a bit over friendly, but that appears to be the Santa Cruz style.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Never disappointingLetsEatDined on 7/11/2014I love this restaurant. The food is consistently wonderful. You can order from the appetizer and salad section and have a great meal or move on to the entree section. Beautiful presentations and the food is divine. Our server was very friendly and we did not feel rushed. This was a dinner with an old friend and we had lots to talk about. I love the outdoor patio. It feels very intimate and even though there are tables around you with conversations going on, you don't feel intruded upon.Special Features:
- Ambiance and fab food!Fabrix2Dined on 7/6/2014The architect/interior designer made the space absolutely lovely - calming, spacious and well-proportioned. The outdoor patio is like a jungle or a conservatory in all the right ways - secluded, bright and plant-filled. The food is unusual and excellent - beautifully presented.Special Features:
- Great food, better serviceSFfoodenthusiastDined on 7/4/2014I live in the Meca of restaurants (San Francisco, that is) and I've been more than impressed with Laili. The food is exquisite, with very unique flavors. To top that off, the service has exceeded all expectations. This is my second visit and M.N. has been nothing short of a WOW -- I now have another reason to visit Santa Cruz -- can't wait for next time.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- What a find!JohnDVIPDined on 7/3/2014I was skeptical when a friend suggested Laili, but the place turns out to be the find of the year for me. The food is excellent, the service is great, and the decor is about the best in Santa Cruz County. What more can you ask??Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great findKumaKiDined on 7/3/2014We arrived early, 5pm and were seated promptly. Service good. Dood was outstanding. Can't wait to go again.Special Features:
- celebrating my nieces 30th birthdayOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 7/2/2014Having been to Laili, where I enjoyed the food and atmosphere, we decided to make a dinner reservation to celebrate my niece's 30th birthday. We had 6 people in our party. We were seated outside on the lovely patio, as I had requested, with no wait. There were heaters to keep us comfortable, so it was perfect! Our waitperson was excellent, and the food was delicious! We left happy - especially my niece, who loved it -including the surprise birthday chocolate mousse cup, with a candle.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- AMAZINGTLutzDined on 7/1/2014My husband is not big into trying new things so this was me taking a chance. I've been to this restaurant before and absolutely loved it. My husband took a chance and ended up loving their food! I would recommend this place to everyone!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Laili ExperienceSCfoodieDined on 7/1/2014I have been here several times and my experience has vaired. I placed service lower because the service has been questionable. Service at my last experience could be placed on the wait staff, kitchen and buser. It took forever for the waitress to greet me and offer me a drink. (15+minutes) Dirty appetizer dishes were left on our table up until the entree was served. Entree's took about an hour to come out of the kitchen. I do love their food here so I am hoping they can set the bar higher on who they are hiring for service. I know Santa Cruz is not a "service" type community like Monterey and recruitment is minimal, it may be in the owners best intersest to provide training for their staff.Special Features:
- Best of DowntownLawnchair16Dined on 6/27/2014Overall a great way to celebrate our anniversary and kick off a great weekend at the beach. We arrived early for our reservations, so spent a little time at the bar with a bartender who was very informative. High ceilings, open floor plan with tables nicely spaced, plus the courtyard [which would be great for lunch or when the weather cooperates] make it a great spot for two. Every dish was excellent, although those who have commented that it is not true Afghan are correct. Especially loved that when a dish comes with 3 sauces, you do not get a third of each - you get 3 portions.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Food great, drinks expensivemeowmeowmeowDined on 6/26/2014My girlfriend and I came here for her 21st birthday. The food was great, I ordered the lamb shank and it was tasty and reasonably priced. My girlfriend ordered the Anar Chicken (at Yelp's advice) and she enjoyed that as well. My only problem with Laili's was that the drinks were a little on the pricey side.Special Features:
- Patio is a nice ambianceflowergirlDined on 6/26/2014We enjoyed eating on the patio. I always feel like I am dining in Europe not Santa Cruz, downtown. Our food was "ok". The chicken in the kabob was a little dry and the prawn noodle dish wasn't very flavorful. The strawberry salad needed a little more items to make it more interesting. The creme burle was great and the wine was tasty. The service was good. I do like to dine here, but the food is getting a little predictable....Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- What a great spot for lunch!OpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 6/26/2014Had a Friday afternoon lunch here with some business cohorts and was pleasantly surprised not only with the quality of the food (I had a pasta & salmon special), but the ambiance of the outdoor patio. Great spot, very nice service, wonderful food...I'll be back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Delicious!Goodvibes8Dined on 6/25/2014The food is consistently excellent and delicious at Laili. Great ambience and aesthetic too!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.