When we arrived we asked her a few questions -we never had a "yes" response
every request we had was met with a no! If she continues to host I am afraid she will cost you business...Its a pity we will not return because the food was quite good...Wine list was unimpressive the wine we requested was not available...
The South African White
Even though we were late, we were seated within 5 minutes of arrival. Our waitress was wonderful, I ordered the 3 course special, salad, soup and appetizer, the soup was excellent. My friend had the eggplant but it was a bit on the sweet side, otherwise all was good, not exceptional, but good.
I made reservations at Laili for a work luncheon. The service was very good and the atmosphere was unbeatable. We felt like we were whisked away to a beautiful resort location inside of downtown Santa Cruz. The menu offered the perfect amount of selections and we were all extremely impressed with the food. I would recommend Laili for lunch and dinner. If you haven't tried it yet, you definitely should! You will not be disappointed.
Being that I am a Santa Cruz local, I've dined at Laili before and knew their food was good. This time I came with a group of 7 for a bachelorette dinner and was even more impressed. First, our server, Leonardo, was wonderful! He was friendly, charming, engaging, and he really made our table and our bachelorette feel special. Second, we ate out on the patio and it was very comfortable and beautiful. Lastly, the food was wonderful as always. I really enjoyed the specials they offered and everything was cooked perfectly. Thanks to Laili and our server, our bachelorette dinner was a huge success! Thank you!
Unusual menu (Mediterranean/Afgan). Flavorful mixes of fruit and savory, lots of vegetarian options. Outside courtyard feels quiet and intimate
We were able to get a table outside - it was wonderful food, drinks and great service. We would definitely eat there again if back in Santa Cru!
Great ambiance, always good when you want to eat all the deserts. Service was just right with space but attention when needed. Perfect for a warm evening with an enjoyable chatter of people enjoying themselves with good food and setting. Finished of nicely with well cook food and flavour combinations
Great food with wonderful flavors and a nice variety for vegetarians and meat lovers.
Was the best place to take my Lebanese friend in Santa Cruz
I have been to this place several times and it is always a great experience...
So phenomenal. Ultra friendly and helpful service and special accommodations, Fall-off-the bone tender lamb shank in incredibly tasty sauce, Cilantro Caesar with subtle flavors that somehow added up to something powerful, delicious house Sangria with cardamom, fancy ambiance with a really beautiful patio, I really can't say enough wonderful things about this place. An entree, a salad, and a "flatbread" together were enough for 2 hungry people - we had some leftovers. Oh, and dessert! The chocolate mousse with Sabayon Creme???? So incredible! Far and away the best restaurant experience I've had in memorable history.
requested outdoor seating but after long wait, were given indoor table.
Excellent food. Menu offers unique items not ordinarily seen other places. Perfect for vegetarian and meat-eaters dining together as everyone leaves satisfied. Excellent service too.
The secluded patio is a wonderful setting for this delightful Mediterranean menu. The cauliflower entrée was delicious. If you like eggplant, this generous portion was outstanding.
Great food that is well-prepared. Subtle variations on a dish that lead the diner to determine what the variations are. (seasoning, cooking method, etc.) Each dish was well executed.
Service was great. Hanah lit up the room with her smile, friendly attitude and excellent service.
The balance of the food and service was very much in synch vs. other restaurants where there is very little balance between the two.
Ambiance was informal. Noise was a bit elevated, but you could still carry on a conversation.
I've been coming to Laili for many years. As always, the food and service was very good. However the portions were so small I was rather shocked. My friends and I usually order tapas style or a bunch of appetizers to share. The combo dips were 2 tablespoons each of the tabouli, babaganoug, humus and yougurt. Barely visible on the plate. The dumplings were 4 for $10 etc... when you have 4 hungry adults it doesn't pay to order these dishes anymore because you will continue to be hungry. I guess they really want you to order alot and a main course but that's not how my friends and I like to enjoy a meal.
Excellent food ( my daughter described the trout as similar to the sole from Julia Julia movie! )
Wonderful service and dining outside in beautiful courtyard with greenery topped it off.
Inside seating is VERY loud when they are busy. Food is excellent.
Our reservation, made through Open Table, was honored courteously, and we were promptly shown to patio seating, which we requested. The waitress gave us time for conversation before ordering, then described the day's special offerings clearly. When we asked for a second plate (to share a large salad) it was provided very nicely. The meal was very good, as expected, and our visit concluded in a smooth manner, leaving us with the memory of a fine dining experience. We'll be back!
Laili is one of the very best restaurants in the Santa Cruz area. Try the butternur squash appetizer and eggplant pomegreanite entree.
Afghan fusion food with a California twist. Run and operated by a Afghani father-son team, the restaurant is set in an old bank in downtown Santa Cruz, with an additional quiet, lush garden.
Freshly baked naan with a dipping sauce helps to entice diners into choosing from the diverse menu. I have tried nearly everything on the menu and nearly all have delivered more than expected. Be sure to specify how you would like your lamb or beef options; otherwise the lamb may be slightly overcooked. Salads are excellent and most come in two sizes. Much of the food is sourced locally from farmers markets and local producers. Portions are generous. Two or three additional specials are available daily. Desserts are also excellent. A good choice of beverages, I recommend the Lime-Ginger Soda as a non-alcoholic option. Alcoholic beverages are reasonably priced.
Acoustics inside can be a problem when the restaurant is full. Garden dining is quiet and tranquil. Umbrellas can provide full shade when needed and there are also heat lamps. A good idea to make reservations, especially for dinner or on weekends.
Definitely one of the nicer restaurants in Santa Cruz and a good value.
Our server Leas was attentive and well versed in the menu. We sat outside in the grotto with a party of six. The patio here is walled with ivy and a beautiful setting. It is moderately quiet outside and worked very well for our group. Inside is a different story, as the high ceiling and walls echo noise making conversation difficult when busy. Reservations recommended several days or more in advance.
Sometimes places sit on their success but not Laili. Dinner was wonderful, the wild salmon was the best I've had in a restaurant ANYWHERE. Friends had the lamb kebob with generous chunks, perfectly done and a sweet, fresh trout filet. First Class right here in little Santa Cruz!!
Thank you, Laili!
We received thoughtful service from the time we arrived until we left. Everything we ordered was deeply satisfying -- from the cardamom coffee to the very generous and flavorful veggie wrap to the tomato fennel flatbread. All 3 of us really enjoyed our experience.
Excellent - limited menu but quality food items. Unique and comfortable patio dining. No full bar though :(
What a find. We regularly use TripAdvisor to locate good restaurants, and are rarely - or never - disappointed. Beautiful decor in a magnificent former bank building. Tastefully decorated. Open kitchen, but not noisy or distracting. Make sure you book, this place is popular. We thoroughly enjoyed the Afghan cuisine. Classy without being snooty. Attentive service without the fawning, obsequious staff who someone make it so obvious they are desperate for the tip Highly recommended.
Food is very fresh. colorful and bursting with flavor.
Service is above average.
Love the Mediterranean plate. Highly recommend it for an appetizer or meal if you are vegetarian or you just want something light. We went one night and ordered just about one of everything on the menu. Nothing has disappointed us and will return time and time again.
Dining in the outside courtyard really feels like you have been transported to the French countryside, where so many restaurants have outside courtyard dining. The menu could use an update. With the exception of the nightly specials, it has been the same for years. Dependable, but getting a bit boring. With such a nice atmosphere it would be nice to be able to get a little more excited about the food.
I love being out in the courtyard; it allows me to feel so gracious and lucky to live in Santa Cruz. Inside can be noisy because of the uncarpeted floors.
I love the filet kabob, marinated in lime juice. And I must share the Kadoo Boranee with a friend.
Had a lovely and romantic birthday dinner for my husband. We ate on the patio just after dusk. The heating lamps were in low, the service was great and the food was fantastic.
Went here with my mother and 2 kids. Kids menu had quite a few choices. The kids had kabobs and loved them! My mother and I both loved our entrees as well as the appetizers. I cannot say anything but good things about this place. Definitely will be going there again.
This was our first time here and the food was delicious. My husband ate the lamb shank and I ate the lamb kabobs. I loved the sauces. The chocolate mousse for desert was a bit rich. I wish I had ordered the pistachio ice-cream that my husband ordered. It was much better.
The only negative was the size of the coffees. We had a choice of small, medium or large and my husband ordered the large. I thought it referred to cup size. We did not have the menu at the time and were not informed that it was actually a large carafe that cost $12. When we received the bill I pointed this out to the waitress who then cut that charge in half. My husband could have ordered the small because he just wanted one cup.
The service was very good and the food is wonderful! Wish they had a full bar. Our guests would have liked a cocktail. Other than that we will put it on our list as a go back to!
Lovely service and patio. I've been here several times and it has always been quite good. This last visit the food was much too heavily salted, though. Next time I'll specify to cut down on the salt.
Wow best meal we had in Santa Cruz ! Everything was perfect! I had the lamb kabobs and my husband had the filet mignon! Both were to die for ! We will go again .
My husband and I had a wonderful dining experience at Laili. We received top notch service from Sage, our server for the evening. The food was delicious, service was impeccable, and lovely ambiance. Will highly recommend to anyone and we hope to dine here again in the future!
I love everything about Laili! I am always very pleased with the food--delicious, fresh, and healthy. The atmosphere is so warm and inviting, and the garden area is breathtaking. This is a beautiful place for special occasions.
The patio place, you will love it! Great food and service.
Fusion mediterranean food, the pistachio ice-cream was great too
This was my third visit to Laili and this time I tried the lunch combination, with the lamb soup and pumpkin bolani. It was delicious, the soup especially well seasoned and thick with various legumes. The green salad was overdressed and it would have been better if replaced by the arugula salad that came with some of the other dishes, but otherwise we had a lovely meal. My friend had the chicken kabob which was juciy and a generous serving. The flatbread was crisp and the servers were very nice, though the fellow who cleared could have used a little more training. He took the plates and then moved one fork to the middle of the table, without explaining that he would be back to clear the crumbs. By then, I had moved the fork back, so he had to move it again.
The food at Laili is an interesting mix of Eastern Meditaerranean and middle eastern food - very tasty and beautifully presented. Small but well chosen wine list.