Laili

4.6
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2308 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.
What 2308 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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AS
AndreaS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was a wonderful evening. Can't wait to go back. Appreciated the Covid precautions also.

j
jennmonster
Las Vegas
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food4service4ambience3

Unfortunately, due to a system glitch, my request to have my father's 75th birthday dinner outside was not captured properly in on their system. I asked if we could still eat outside and the hostess agreed but first said that she needed the table at 5:30 and then changed her mind and said that she needed it at 5:20 p.m. (my reservation was for 4:30 p.m. and we were on time). Rather than try to accommodate, we were rushed through dinner (30 minutes) and then moved inside for dessert. We were only a group of 4, and we even offered to take a smaller table outside. Our waiter (Lukie) was very kind, but the manager nor the hostess were not very friendly - more annoyed that I wouldn't just take the table inside. Again, this was for my father's 75th birthday dinner. Overall the food was flavorful albeit a bit overpriced for what it was. It was a disappointing dinner.

AB
AnonymousButTried
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall1food1service2ambience4

The food does not have any mediterranean, Indian or Afghan flavors as it is advertised. It is very pseudo. The ambience, though. Is pretty good.

LK
LyndaK
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Patio dining was cozy

CC
ChristinaC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Great authentic Oaxacan food and drinks. Service is friendly and helpful. I would go again.

F
vipFoodies
Central Coast
4 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Always great food. Hostess is a bit slow and could use some work on getting parties sat according to reservation time. Otherwise always love coming here. Outdoor seating is wonderful.

KJ
KristinJ
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The courtyard was gorgeous and the food was fantastic and our server was just the right amount of attentive. We had a lovely lunch and would go back in a heartbeat.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Denver
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food great service great wine selection

ME
MarianneE
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is excellent and lots of things to choose from on the menu. I had the chicken flatbread with apricot spread and pomegranates. Excellent but probably fattening. Large portions.

Service was very good and the outdoor setting was quiet but we did have one bothersome bee.

GP
GrumpyProf
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Food is very good, though slightly pricy. Their check-in procedure is slow—we waited 10–15 minutes outside before getting to the front of the line. The host spent forever dealing with a group that did not have a reservation, while not checking in those of us in line who did have reservations.

Honestly, the check-ins at Laili's were always slow and a bit incompetent even before the pandemic.

PS
PaulineS
Orange County
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We ordered and shared a lamb kabob...it was tender and delicious. The beet salad excellent as well as the eggplant flatbread appetizer. We ate in the patio and felt very safe during the pandemic. It is now one of our go-to places in Santa Cruz.

NA
NatashaA
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I visited Laili during COVID times (September 2020) with my husband and two picky eater kids. We chose an indoor sitting option and felt very safe. All possible COVID precautions were implemented, and we were well-spaced from other tables. We wanted to sample as many items from the menu as possible, so we ordered three appetizers and one main course. Everything was delicious! We loved the spinach bolani and pomegranate eggplant flatbread. We also had a sort of dumplings stuffed with leaks that were delicious!. The kids had lamb and chicken kabobs from the kid's menu, and all their special requests were accommodated to perfection, and trust me, they have some weird requests. We also had desserts ;-) which disappeared very quickly. The chocolate mousse and cardamom cream Brule were excellent. Overall, great experience! Thank you.

JW
JenniferW
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2020
Overall3food5service1ambience1

Had to wait 10 minutes for the hostess to give her our name and then took another 5-10 to seat us. Thought I had reserved a table on the patio only to be told I would have to had called to request that. I even had a confirmation email stating outdoor seating reservation. We were sat inside less than 6 feet away from other tables. Waiter was horrible. Took 25 minutes to take our drink order. After we were finished we sat with dirty plates for 20 minutes and they were only taken when we asked. Had stated in reservation it was for a Birthday and even told our waiter only to be brought the check. We had watched several Birthday celebrations while we diner and received nothing. Food was spectacular, but doesn't make up for the horrendous service.

CS
ChinSF
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of the best meals we’ve had on n Santa Cruz, it was a perfect date spot.

ND
vipNinerDiner
San Francisco
36 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had the caesar salad, which was cleverly accentuated with middle eastern spices and was delicious. The beef dumplings were magnificent. We split the roast chicken anar (pomegranate). This was good, but on the overcooked side with a sauce that was too sweet. Dessert of baklava and pistachio ice cream was amazing. Service was excellent and friendly. Looking forward to going back again soon.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Best food we've had going out in a while!

CM
vipCristinaM
San Francisco
90 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

the appetizers were great especially the butternut squash Bolani, and the patio was lovely. I would come here again!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Hummus was amazing, service was warm and enjoyable

WC
WilliamC
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience3

I realize everything is funky because of the Virus and shut downs, but this place just forgot what service is. It wasn’t exactly bad but it was stupid.
The restroom was closed, we had reservations and still had to wait for a table, and the food was cold. I think the servers and host were in quarantine too long and just forgot what people are.

ES
vipEileenS
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is always fantastic and the ambiance is warm and inviting. Will visit again.

SB
ShaneB
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My wife and I came here for our anniversary. The outdoor dining area was beautiful, well lit, and warm. The food and drinks were awesome. I highly recommend.

MP
MarilynP
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Everyone in my party enjoyed their food. Except me. I had the salmon pasta which was pretty awful. I make much better noodles myself . Should have known better than to order pasta at a Mediterranean restaurant.

J
Jawamie
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Exceptionally enjoyable dining experience thanks to the fantastic service and attention provided by Takuya to meet our dining expectations. This level of satisfaction on our part merits a repeat experience and soon.

CK
CatherineK
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food, beautiful courtyard, attentive servers.

Report
TO
TolgaO
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very nice mediterranean touch at the end of the world. As mediterraneans ourselves we felt at home for a while. Thanks for the food and ambiance.

BL
vipBLocal
Sacramento
17 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Laili has a lovely courtyard where they follow all Covid protocols. The food was wonderful from beginning to end. We enjoyed topped flatbread, hummus, bolani and beet salad. All were flavored with savory middle eastern spices and pomegranate for sweetness. All were served with a trio of exceptional dipping sauces. Barely had room to enjoy the lamb kabob and cauliflower entrees. So we packed a lot to go and threw in a baklava for later. Our waiter Saoul did a great job!

WN
WendyN
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic dinner , easy to get reservations , good job with social distance and nice patio . Have been coming jere for several years and great as always

AA
vipAACjr
Milwaukee
16 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Fabulous food and Danny’s wonderful service made fora spectacular experience.

AD
ArdenD
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful post-hike brunch in Laili’s courtyard...a mix of fish, veggies, salad flatbread and kebob’s...as usual, it was fabulous!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Tahoe
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Celebrated our wedding anniversary here. The outdoor patio was beautiful and food was perfect!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a lovely dinner in the outdoor courtyard due to the current COVID restrictions. Food was great as always and the service was prompt.

LS
LauraS
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Laili is one of our favorite restaurants and this night did not disappoint! Perfect dinner, seated in the outdoor garden area, where we have never sat before. Our chicken skewers entree and fillet mignon skewers were both delicious. Katherine served us and she was fantastic and it was her first night serving. We are so happy to get to enjoy eating here even duting Covid. Thank you all for serving us beautiful food!

s
sd3685
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A lovely patio for a social distancing meal. Food and service very good.

b
vipbrianb
San Francisco
38 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Laili does an excellent job all the way around. The food was excellent. The last two times we dined there, we had these main courses: eggplant, lamb burger, salmon, and lamb shank. All of these were great. The servers were efficient, friendly and polite. It was good to be able to dine there during these strange days. The outdoor seating area is very pleasant, and the staff following the pandemic protocols to the letter.

MH
MonicaH
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience5

I love the food, and most of all the ambience. Sitting outside makes me feel like I am in Italy..

KM
KathleenM
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding! Highly recommend. Food was delicious, our server was lovely and outdoor dining was intimate - inner courtyard.

TB
TimB
Orange County
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Food and atmosphere great. We were first being setted at a table next to a busy doorway. There were 4-5 other tables for two empty so I asked for another table. After about 5 minutes or so the hostess came back and moved us one over. It was an ok table but other better tables were available. My salad with added grilled shrimp was delicious and the half size was perfect for me. My husband had the chicken kabob. He didn’t care for the three sauces on the side so he asked the waiter for a small side of tahziki. The waiter never brought it. So that is the reason for the 4 star service and overall rating. I like to eat here whenever I come to Santa Cruz so look forward to next time.

K
vipKingderb
Tahoe
93 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic lamb pasta!

Report
KM
KimM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always, the food at Laili is delicious. We had a lovely dinner on the patio to celebrate our daughter's birthday. Everything was scrumptious, and the service was attentive.

e
emjay
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience5

We had the most delicious dinner ! We had two starters the ground meat dumplings and the flatbread chicken apricot / date both very tasty. I also had the Parmesan Caesar salad. We had the half chicken with the pomegranate sauce roasted potatoes and veggies. So so good. We ate leftovers for two days and it was still delicious. We had the cashew cardamom ice cream another big hit and a generous portion. We highly recommend laili’s. We will be back next time we are in Santa Cruz! John and mJ

FAQs

Laili does offer delivery in partnership with Toast and Uber Eats. Laili also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (831) 423-4545.

Laili is rated 4.6 stars by 2308 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.