Currently only doing takeout and delivery, 7 days a week, from 4pm-8pm.
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.
Great food as always. Ate outside in the courtyard which is always lovely. We had the garlic lime filet mignon kebob and trout lunches. Both were perfectly prepared. Servers were attentive but not intrusive.
Delicious food for all (some vegan choices), great service. Definitely will be.
We had lunch outside. It was beautiful in the courtyard and they had heaters standing by in case we needed them, which was not the case. The food was great. We had lamb kabobs which were cooked perfectly medium-rare. Tender as could be and delicious. Cardom creme Brule for desert put a great twist on an old standard. Highly recommend you go there to eat or take some of this delicious food home.
We’ve been to Laili many times over the past two years, and on this occasion, were partially disappointed by the food. The saffron chicken wrap and the moush-awa soups were outstanding, but the borani was overly soaked in oil and was not enjoyable, and the greens had a seemingly new infusion of cardamom that overwhelmed the salad. Given that this represented two-thirds third of one of our entrees (the lunch combo), the experience was underwhelming, which is an uncharacteristic experience of Laili for us. Perhaps it was just an off day in the kitchen?
Other than the food, the ambiance and service were wonderful, and up to our usual expectation.
Best server I have ever had. I always enjoy Laili and it’s nice to be outdoors on the lovely patio.
Our server was great; she was very polite, attentive, and friendly. It was slightly noisy but not obnoxiously so. The food was yummy; we had the chicken plate and a flatbread and a bottle of wine. Slightly above "reasonable" for price. Will definitely go back (and they have a back patio!)
Delicious, well prepared food and always on point. Courtyard is lovely with a European vibe.
We’ll give the restaurant a break because of the challenges in running a restaurant in these times. The seating, service & lack of outdoor heat lamps made the meal less enjoyable. However, the food was excellent and the servers tried their best despite appearing to be short handed.
Poor service. Female waitress was rude and untrained
Love, Love, Love the food here but it was cold for the elders we brought with us.
The interior courtyard is charming and feels very safe.
Our service was very poor. Had to ask for napkin and silverware. The bus boy was more helpful than the waitress. Ordered salads, which always come first. Long wait for meal and then everything came out at once. Waitress NEVER checked in once after she took our order. Made reservations. Had to wait 15 minutes while host sat people who walked in and had no reservations. Had to ask for plates to be cleared away. Had to ask for desert menu.
This was our 5th or 6th time at Laili, and it is a place we enjoy recommending to others. It was our first time dining outdoors during the pandemic.
Overall, Laili was a bit disappointing; there was only one server outside who seemed a bit too busy and we had to wait a long time even getting our drinks ordered.
The food was okay, but not excellent, the pita bread in the mezzo sampler plate was limp and undercooked, the plates and silverware looked old, beaten, unpolished with scratches, the heated lamps too far away from us on a chilly Sunday afternoon.
But because we were in a celebratory mood, we didn’t mind all of the above.
The outside area is delightful. One can almost imagine being anywhere in the world.
Great place. We come back every time we are in town.
Their food is outstanding, but they are pretty disorganized. We had to wait about 40 minutes for our table even though we had reservations. Might have just been having a bad night, or someone made a mistake. It was still worth waiting, however, as Laili is definitely the best restaurant in Santa Cruz, and they created an outside patio area that has wonderful ambience.
Customer service is not a strong point in this restaurant. When entering at the scheduled time, we are always asked to wait quite a while before being seated. The front desk is so instructed: not to seat people until the kitchen is ready for them. This is not good. We would much prefer being seated and given something to munch on if they are running slow. Most places will do that.
This has been a perennial problem at Leili. The wait staff, however, is always very nice and obliging. Front desk sets the tone!
Attractively and simply presented delicious dishes. The Greek salad was one of the best I've enjoyed.
Laili's outdoor patio setting is spectacular. The greenery and tall plantings provide a "European Courtyard" ambiance. Food is consistently good. Our waiter was friendly and efficient.
A great place to enjoy dinning out under Covid 19 restrictions.
A beautiful afternoon and a pleasant lunch in the courtyard.
Excellent food. Great combinations, sauces, quite interesting.
This is our go-to restaurant in town whenever we want a great dining experience. The food is consistently excellent, even in the Covid-19 era where some other restaurants have been unable to maintain their quality standards. And now dining in the enclosed outdoor courtyard with ivy covered walls has the feeling of being in Europe.
The only problem we had was that somehow the hostess though our reservation was only for three people, when it was for five. I even received a text to conform with the correct number (five.) was still going to be honored. So I am not sure how the hostess thought it was only three. Other than that the service was great and the food was outstanding.
Lunch with my 96 year old mother
Consistently excellent food
We enjoyed a lovely anniversary dinner in their outdoor dining area. The food was delicious - cauliflower and chickpea curry for me and the trout for my husband. Our server was terrific and recommended items based on my vegan preference. We will return on our next visit to Santa Cruz.
Outdoor patio is really nice
Ate outside, which is best with a live-in mate. Went with a friend for lunch and felt the tables for 2 are too small -- definitely not a 6-ft distance apart. However, I will definitely go with my husband while the weather is warm. At the moment, we're not eating inside restaurants.
The food was terrific, the service impeccable and with a smile. We really enjoyed eating outside in the enclosed patio. Wish they had cocktails but the great wine got us thru the meal.
wonderful, felt good to eat out. I wish I didn't have to write a report.
It has been a while since we were out to eat. The wait staff was attentive and the food, as always, was superb. Make a reservation and enjoy one of the best restaurants in Santa Cruz!
Our go to place for a nice meal after a brisk 4.5 mile walk in Santa Cruz. We always get the Mediterranean plate for appetizer and my main dish is a toss between koobideh and lamb pasta. This time I had koobideh and it was so succulent and full of flavor. Hubby went for trout but my dish was sure better. He was ambivalent about the fish. Dessert was alright (cardamom creme brûlée). I had a glass of Malbec which was delicious..
Excellent food and outdoor patio
This is the best Lebanese/Mediterranean cuisine in Santa Cruz!
Laili never disappoints. The outdoor seating area is perfect for a delicious afternoon meal, and the menu offerings are fresh, unique and beautifully prepared.
Tried the lamb and 3-bean soup. So delicious. Great combination of flavors and textures. Even the iced tea was excellent. It was unusually hot on the day I was there, but there were not enough umbrellas available to block the sun from our table. Everything else was great. I highly recommend Laili. They have indoor and outdoor dining, now.
I went for lunch with a friend, and we sat outside and their lovely Garden. The food was delicious. We had the pomegranate eggplant dish which is always divine, and we tried something new, the eggplant flatbread. Having read the reviews on OpenTable about the leek dumplings, we tried them. They were truly exceptional. I recommend going there and enjoying an afternoon or evening out and a safe and comforting atmosphere. Service was great too.
Always good. Great service every time. Kate was great!!
You can order delivery directly from Laili using the Order Online button. Laili also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (831) 423-4545.
Laili is rated 4.7 stars by 2367 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.