Laili

4.6
1813 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mediterranean
Rich Mediterranean Flavors with a Unique Afghan Twist in the Heart of Downtown Santa Cruz.

Laili is our expression of love through food and service. We offer a unique menu made up of fusion Afghani Mediterranean items that include kabobs, wraps, flatbreads, pastas, and spiced lamb and chicken dishes as well as delicious vegetarian options.
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OT
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our family and friends celebrated my daughter’s 16th birthday at Lailì. We had a wonderful time!!!

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RA
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Cuisine from Afghanistan and related areas offers great flavors from different spices or combinations of spices, excellently prepared. Good service.

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OT
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Always a favorite when my son comes home from college for breaks!

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M
San Francisco
40 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is an incredibly good restaurant with very affordable prices for the quality of the food. The complimentary starter is a nice surprise. The food, the wine, the service, and the decor: it would be hard to find fault with anything!

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AM
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is great, brought in time and at the same time for a party of 8 , the service was excellent, on time making sure we had everything we need, overall a great experience, thank you

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Over priced, average food, no gluten free basics, no cocktails

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KC
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

I’ve always loved this restaurant and the comfortable environment. Lighting is now way too bright. I asked our server and he said they have been working on it.
Also patched walls and paint in very poor condition. Hopefully they will get this repaired.
New menu items might be nice.
When I used the restaurant Reservation tab, it opened Open Table with extremely limited availability. I tried calling all day, maybe six times, even up until and after 5pm. No answer! Very frustrating!
Finally, I opened up Open Table through the app, there was tons of availability for what I needed.

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f
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

had a great meal for 6 people plus they did a great treat at the end for their anniversary --they live in SF and loved the restaurant.

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PP
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was very authentic, fresh, and delicious. The service is very well organized; all the servers respond to all of the tables so you are never left waiting for anything. The dip sampler plate was delicious. The char-grilled prawns with the salad were cooked to perfection, and that 3 bean soup with lamb will keep you warm and full on a cold Santa Cruz day!

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GP
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Our table was ready at our reserved time, food was good, tables spaced far enough apart that conversation was possible, service was attentive but not too obtrusive. Not a lot of vegetarian options, but enough for non-picky vegetarians.

Noise level lower than most busy restaurants, thanks to some draperies and noise-reducing panels, but the concrete floor and hard walls still make it a little too live acoustically—luckily we were seated in a corner, so I could hear my tablemates without interference from tables behind me.

Reservations needed several days in advance, which is annoying.

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PE
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Everything great - the LED lighting makes it a bit bright but I think LED is something we need to get used to, even in restaurants.

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LP
Portland
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 2

We’ve loved this restaurant for several years. But it’s a big barn of a place that needs subtle lighting to bring it down to size. Unfortunately the dimmers aren’t working, and the bright lights took away all the atmosphere. The food is still good, but the sauces with our chicken kebab seemed flat, and the flat bread offered with the appetizer was little more than a thin tortilla. A little review of excellent execution and a good cocktail menu would amp up the meal.

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DD
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

If you are ever in Santa Cruz, you must try this place. It was a true delight and I wish I was able to go back every day... food was fresh, authentic and made with the quality this place deserves.

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SM
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Never disappointed when we dine here - great food with fantastic mix of flavors. Good vegetarian options. Will definitely be coming again.

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CS
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Loved our food. Wait staff is becoming more flexible and attentive. I appreciate their revised Reservation policy.

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RR
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Had to wait a while to get seated even though I had a reservation. Service was indifferent. We had to flag down a waiter 3 times during our meal. Otherwise the food was excellent.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Food was excellent but our waiter was not very attentive. He took our order and disappeared. Soneo

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OT
San Francisco
222 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We've enjoyed Laili's many times, and this time was no exception; my husband had the trout and I had the lamb kabobs and the special cauliflower soup as an appetizer was delicious also. We were early because we were going to a movie so it was quiet, but if the restaurant is full it can get noisy.

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TG
Central Coast
10 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always A FAVORITE. We go often.Love the kabobs and the trout especially with the attendant small plate sauces. The Naan is a specialty.

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NY
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Amazing waiters, very well put together and very attentive.

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MR
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We celebrated my friend’s birthday at Laili. The restaurant had something for everyone of my family and friends. Everyone said their food and drinks was delicious and authentic. I particularly enjoyed the outside area, it was nice and cozy. Service was friendly and attentive. I highly recommend it.

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FM
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

we had a party of 12 and had excellent service. we were all happy with our food and wine selection. we ate outside which reminded us of being in Europe.

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OT
Saarbrucken
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Six of us celebrating a birthday. We all had great appetizers, salads, dinners and deserts. All were exceptional as was the service. Only thing is there are no reservations for less than 7.
That’s a big drag. Loads of people standing around waiting.

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OT
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 5

Our table for 9 was ready when we arrived and as our party sat, drinks were ordered and served.... then... everything crept along. Our second round of drinks came long after our glasses were dry. The full meal (appetizers - Yum!!, entrees, and desserts) took 2 1/2 hours. Too long for all of us. Again, the food was very good but the service - Santa Cruz style - slow and not attentive.

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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Decent food, very accommodating for a big group. Wine list was only okay

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JJ
Sacramento
3 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Party of right outside on patio. Very comfortable. Very tasty. Everyone had a great evening.

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RV
New Mexico
5 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

The food is full of taste and beautifully presented. The atmosphere is beautiful. Service is usually better than it was on the evening my family dined for my son-in-law's birthday. It was a treat to have a kid's menu. We had not brought the children before and their food was delicious.

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DC
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Recommend this restaurant highly. The food and ambiance are fantastic. As with most popular restaurants, service can be slow at busy times.

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JL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 4

Unfortunately, the restaurant was understaffed on our day. Several large parties so service was awful. Nice server but she was overwhelmed with packed restaurant. Beer was not tapped correctly so a lot of foam which I sent back and did not receive a replacement until 20 min later. Food was very good with nice selection. Noise level inside was very loud. I will try again but restaurant should be aware of serving customers with more staff especially if there are large groups with reservations.

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JH
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

We enjoyed our dining at this beautifully decorated restaurant. It's located a few blocks away from beach, so it's not too crowded, and easy to find a parking nearby. We also loved the food and service. Due to the beach traffic, we rescheduled the reservation in a short notice, thanks to their flexibility.

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t
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

They were amazing! We were celebrating my moms 87th birthday.. we were a large party And they were extremely accommodating. Food was fabulous, price great! Our server went above and beyond! Loved this restaurant and will go any chance I can. One of our guests was in a wheelchair and it was easy for him to get in and out.

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PP
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Celebrated my daughter in law's birthday and our grandson's preschool graduation.
Party of 7, everyone ordered something different - all meals were delicious as we were sharing the amazing flavors! Returned the next day for a girlfriends luncheon, again, delicious. And the outdoor patio.... heaven. Connor was a wonderful server on both occasions!

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TD
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on July 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love the patio because it can get noisy inside. The lamb kabobs are my favorite. I’ve never had a bad meal there.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful meal with great service as always!!

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EM
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an amazing dinner on the patio over the weekend. Everything was excellent: food, service, and ambiance.

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TA
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We ate at Laili's on a warm summer evening and it was a delight. The wines we ordered were delicious - a Sant Cruz Mountains Chardonnay for me and a superb Rose for my husband. We had an early dinner in the outside area and loved the quiet feel of that area. Our food was wonderful, my husband had the lamb pasta and I had the pomegranate eggplant. I substituted roasted veggies for the chard and that was an excellent idea.

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B
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

I’ve been there multiple times,arriving on time ,nobody sittings at our future table, Waite staff available and the host makes you wait around 10 minuets before seating you. Very annoying

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PL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 20, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

We really like Laili. I had requested a table in the patio. I made the reservation just 24 hours prior so we were informed there were no tables on the patio. Hence, besides everything being very good the noise level negatively effected our experience. We could not have a stress-free conversation, which was the purpose of the dinner since we were hosting old friends who live out of state. Not sure what we’ll do next time but it may impact us so that we don’t come again unless a quieter table is available. Too bad for Laili that is doing everything else right.

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WZ
1 review
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a great experience! We brought our kids with us and we all had a healthy, yummy dinner! Service was timely and friendly - my 6 year old actually hugged the waiter, she was so happy. We ate on the early side, but the bar looked nice and cozy and probably would be great for an adult date night too.

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P
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Our server, Francisco, was very knowledgable about the menu for my friend who is vegan and has good sensitives. The appetizers and entries were very good.

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