Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.02mi
  2. Distance: 0.06mi
  3. Distance: 0.10mi
  4. Distance: 0.12mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.02mi
  2. Distance: 0.06mi
  3. Distance: 0.10mi
  4. Distance: 0.12mi

About 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.

101B Cooper St
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Mediterranean, Afghan

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

Cross Street:
Pacific Avenue

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(831) 423-4545

Website:
http://www.lailirestaurant.com/

Parking Details:
Take advantage of free parking located on River Street at Front Street. In addition to metered street parking, there is also a parking lot at Front Street and Soquel and also at Locust Street and Pacific Avenue.

Additional:
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Laili Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.4

ambience

4.6

value

4.3

Noise

Moderate

97% would recommend it to a friend

Creative Cuisine (93)
Great for Outdoor Dining (83)
Good for a Date (79)
See All
Fit for Foodies (66)
Good Vegetarian Options (64)
Romantic (60)
Special Occasion (59)
Good for Birthdays (52)
Neighborhood Gem (49)
Good for Anniversaries (48)
Healthy (47)
Authentic (46)
Casual (43)
Worth the Drive (34)
Great for Lunch (32)
Good for Groups (32)
Local Ingredients (31)
Quiet Conversation (27)
Cozy (25)
Fun (25)
Pre/post Theatre (23)
Business Meals (20)
Notable Wine List (19)
Vegan (18)
Sunday Lunch (17)
Seasonal (16)
Organic (15)
Hot Spot (11)
Comfort Food (10)
Gluten Free Options (9)
Paleo Friendly (9)
Disabled Access (8)
Scenic View (8)
Spicy (8)
People Watching (8)
Bar Seating (7)
Kid-friendly (7)
Tapas (5)
Tasting Menu (5)
Great for Brunch (4)
Happy Hour (4)
Late-night Find (4)
Afternoon Coffee (3)
Quick Bite (3)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
Afternoon Tea (1)
Great Beer (1)
Handcrafted Cocktails (1)
Live Music (1)
Sort by
S
1590 reviews
Loading Reviews ...

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 18, 2015

The food & the ambience are exquisite.......
The back patio it's wonderful and the level of service is admirable.
We highly recommend Laili as the local destination for savory food.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 18, 2015

The host at the door was so rude and unfriendly, that we will probably not return here, even though the food was quite good. The management should look for a new hire, as most people don't appreciate someone as the first face of the restaurant to be rude. We had to wait at least 10 minutes while he answered the phone, searched for menus, and left to give phone messages. There was never a "sorry for the wait", "thank you for waiting", just a grouchy "follow me" when he was finally ready. And the tables were half full on a Wednesday night.....no excuse for rudeness.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 17, 2015

Went there for my Birthday on Feb, 17th our waitress was very nice and Accommodating .

Tags: Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Sacramento)·Dined on February 15, 2015

One of the most memorably fantastic meals my girlfriend and I have shared.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Hot Spot, Kid-friendly, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Scenic View, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 14, 2015

I can't say enough about this place. My girlfriend and I were looking for a place for Valentines Day very last minute and they were able to squeeze us in at 530. Our server Danica was excellent. Very nice and very knowledge of the menu as well as the wine lists. We essentially left the decision making of our meal in her hands and she could not have done a better job. We sat outside and the ambience was very warm and the tables were spaced in such a way that I did not feel isolated yet felt like my girlfriend and I were on our island.

The place is perfect. Just stop thinking....call and make a reservation...and experience Laili for yourself.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 14, 2015


This is our go to spot for Santa Cruz dining. Wonderful surroundings whether you are enjoying the spacious interior decor with tall ceilings, or the beautiful outside patio. The creative cuisine is always consistently good and beautifully presented. The prices are very moderate for the quality of the food. All the servers are friendly, polite and professional.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 14, 2015

The food is delicious and different. The eggplant was great, and they have some great lamb dishes. The staff is always friendly and helpful

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Sacramento)·Dined on February 8, 2015

Great food, excellent service, beautiful restaurant and easy on the wallet. Will be back again and again.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 23, 2015

I love the food, spices so lovingly balanced, not too huge portions, pretty atmosphere, nice folks. We actually didn't like the scallop special, too black peppery, but that was the exception, not the rule. Love the appetizers. Great place to take friends. Good wine list.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 21, 2015

Laili is consistently delivers delicious unique food, excellent service and a lovely ambiance. It begins with the warm naan like bread with the most amazing olive oil dip--truly addicting. The scallops and lamb kebabs were well cooked and tender. Our server Mariah was excellent and accommodating to members in our party with dietary restrictions. It was an all around wonderful experience. We will definitely be back.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 17, 2015

Food was okay and was overpriced. Was not overwhelmed -- did not meet all the hype I had been hearing.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 14, 2015

Laili is a true neighborhood gem. I love the high ceilings and only wish the bar area was larger and it is special to sit outside when weather permits. Whether dining for two or a larger group this place offers lots of good options, meat, fish, chicken or excellent vegetarian options. Love this place!

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 14, 2015

Delicious, unusual food, described as Mediterranean Afghan. I enjoyed a lamb wrap with arugula salad, chocolate torte, and pressed cardamon coffee, all well presented. A most enjoyable lunch. The service was quite friendly, but a bit slow. Unfortunately the outside garden dining was closed; it looked inviting. The inside was spacious, with a high ceiling. While clean, light and modern looking, conversation echoed, making a noisy ambiance. Prices were reasonable for the quality offered. I look forward to going there again, for any special occasion.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service4

 
 (Miami)·Dined on January 10, 2015

Had the pomegranate chicken (very sweet) and kabob. Both delicious. Had the leek dumpling appetizer and beet salad, both fantastic! Service was amazing, everyone was polite and smiling. Be sure to make a reservation!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 8, 2015

I eat here reasonably frequently having been introduced to the place a few years ago. The food is always wonderful, the staff friendly, attentive and knowledgeable, and I especially enjoy the patio when the weather is cooperative. During peak times, reservations are a good idea.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 3, 2015

Lalii is a wonderful restaurant with enough variety to suit meateaters and vegetarians, even vegans!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on January 2, 2015

If you stick with the appetizers you will experience you pretty good food.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 2, 2015

Outstanding service with smiles - the bread was right out of the oven and delivered timely as your table ran out. The extra effort was noticeable. Had the special- Prrk chop- it was outstanding

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Hot Spot, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 2, 2015

Eating at Leila always seems to give me pleasure. The food is interesting, and delicious. My two 20-something daughters loved it as much as my wife and I. Just a fun time.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 28, 2014

Food was very good and service was outstanding.
I had requested a birthday candle in the Open Table reservation, but that was not noticed by the staff. However, when they were told, they gleefully provided a candle and comped the one dessert.
Our party of 4 were seated in a booth which was pretty tight, and thus somewhat uncomfortable. Would have preferred a table, but we were not asked about preference, even though a couple of tables were available. By the time we felt like speaking up, the tables had been filled by others, so it was grin and bear it.
Overall, we will be back. Can't say enough about the two ladies that provided excellent and attentive service.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 27, 2014

Everything we ordered was made & presented well. We had the Kabab, eggplant dish & flatbread with Apricot. The leek dumplings were also very good, a good starter. The ambiance and decor is great, modern & open.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4

 
 (Portland)·Dined on December 24, 2014

Nicely presented main courses - great flavors - would definitely suggest to anyone going to Santa Cruz to eat there. A number of dishes I would have liked to try. Very nice wine list, interesting beverages.... knowledgeable and attentive staff.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Brunch, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 23, 2014

Heard great things about Laili and could not wait to try. Service was way too slow. We wanted to get a bottle of wine and our waitress took a long time to take our drink order. Then waited a while to get our bottle. Food came out quickly but was not worth coming back for. I wish they dimmed the lights more at night. From the outside I thought to myself it was way too bright. It was even worse having dinner. Theres better places in town if you want to spend $100 on a mediocre experience.

Tags: Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 23, 2014

Delicious food and notable table service. We appreciated the prompt delivery of our meals.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on December 20, 2014

Service was attentive, food prep was quick. I had the trout and it was delicious. Definitely will be back. Happy and content with the wines by the glass options.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Kid-friendly
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 18, 2014

Four of us visited on a busy holiday evening. The place was energetic, but we still had good attentive service and the food exceeded our expectations.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Hot Spot, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on December 14, 2014

Even in December (weather permitting) it's possible to dine outdoors in Santa Cruz. Lali has a hidden courtyard, all walled in with plenty of cozy outdoor seating- plus they supply lots of warmth though gas heaters near each table. The outdoor seating is great, as the high ceilings and hard surfaces make the main dining area very noisy when it's busy- which is almost every evening.
Our group ordered 1 Mahi-Mahi (a special of the day), 2 Anar Chicken off the regular menu, and 1 Lamb shank off the regular menu. All were deemed to be delicious, though the lamb shank could have spent a little more time in the brazier. Two deserts were ordered, the flour-less chocolate cake and pistachio ice cream with cardamom, along with coffee. Nary a left over bite. We lingered over coffee (also delicious) for nearly an hour with none of the glares you often get from the wait staff who are eager to turn the table over to the next party. All in all, another excellent experience at Lali!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 5, 2014

We've been to Laili on 2 occasions and were delighted with our experience both times. Our wait staff was professional, knowledgeable and friendly. Our meals were exceptional. We enjoyed the lamb shank that fell off the bone, a shrimp and pasta dish that was pleasantly spicy, perfectly cooked filet mignon kebab and the vegetarian eggplant entre. The chard that came with the eggplant was cooked perfectly: not mushy, but not uncooked, with light seasoning. Nice wine list of reasonable price. Can't wait to go back.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 30, 2014

One of my favorite places in Santa Cruz. Indoors or out, it's a great ambience. The service is always friendly and caring. The food is wonderful.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Central Coast)·Dined on November 28, 2014

We enjoy Laili as long as we are seated in the outdoor patio; it's lovely and there are heaters for the chilly evenings. Whereas, inside the noise level is deafening! Some food items are outstanding: we always order the Kadoo Boranee appetizer, a gorgeous mound of butternut squash, garlic, mint, and yogurt. The ginger cocktail is a delicious and special treat too. This night we had the cilantro caesar salad, and it was a fine caesar salad, fresh and tasty, more than adequate, but the cilantro twist didn't really elevate it much. Everyone was happy with their entree except me. I usually have a kebab, or the sensational pomegranate eggplant, but this time I chose the arugula pesto pasta, very disappointing. The arugula wasn't pureed well into a "pesto" sauce with the other ingredients, it was more like chopped or something, so the texture was kind of stringy, with stems. Also, while I enjoy peppery arugula as much as the next person, the whole dish tasted extremely bitter. I managed a few bites but it was a real turnoff. I'll go back to Laili again because I know what to order and what to avoid.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 22, 2014

We don't get out a ton these days, as I have a gluten allergy and it's just not worth it, but this was a serious treat! Our reservation was ready when we got there (even though there was a wait for walk-ins), our server was delightful, and all of our food was amazing! They did a great job accommodating allergies, which is much appreciated, and also it didn't feel like a chore or inconvenience.

We'd go back, again and again. Thanks for a wonderful meal and good time.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 21, 2014

Had a fun experience here with 9 guests for my birthday: excellent and accommodating service, delicious food, and friendly, prompt waitstaff Julia. They cut and served my birthday dessert that we'd brought in to the restaurant. Great place for a party!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Late-night Find, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 14, 2014

Laili is a lively restaurant in downtown Santa Cruz with fresh, impeccably prepared Mediterranean cuisine. The portions are generous, the service is attentive, and the value is incredible. We paid less than $150 for two of us, for meal that would run over $200 in most other restaurants. The only down side is that the noise level is very high; and if you get a table near the waiting area (as we did), you will have hoards of waiting dinners hovering over your table. However, we would definitely consider going back.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4

vip
 (Sacramento)·Dined on November 13, 2014

Food was outstanding. I had the lamb shank and it melted in my mouth. Our server was very helpful and quick to serve. We would have loved to be outside on the patio and will do that next time.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 13, 2014

They need to spice up their menu. It's been the same for a very long time. Everything was tasty, but I've been through the menu now and may not go back for a while as it's not as interesting.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 11, 2014

I like this restaurant. They have great food, a good beverage list and really really good desert. If the weather plays along, please do sit on their outdoor patio. Even when it's cooler, they do have portable heaters. This is not necessarily a place to bring children to, at least younger ones, but for any other occasion it is a great place to celebrate or just hang out, whether with just one other person or a group. Just be aware, they do close pretty early (at 9:30 PM) and while you won't be thrown out when you stay longer, the staff will glare at you while they clean up and get the restaurant ready for the next day.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 8, 2014

A potentially delightful meal was dampened by remarkably slow service. Despite making reservations well in advance and arriving early, our party of five was seated late. Once seated, another 15-20 minutes passed before being offered anything other than water, with another 20 minutes crawling by before appetizers arrived. Combined with the seating delay, this meant no food until nearly an hour after scheduled seating time.

The meal itself was delightful, but the slow service continued throughout the entire evening, making for a frustrating experience. We would consider dining here again but would only do so during off-peak hours.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service2

 
 (Sacramento)·Dined on November 6, 2014

We discovered this restaurant through the recommendation of my daughter's college roommate. The food was excellent, very unique, and interesting. Service was excellent just the right amount of attention and very courteous. Noise level was very low and the atmosphere was enjoyable. The wine selection was great and overall the restaurant is now one of our favorites.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Kid-friendly, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on November 5, 2014

Service was abominable. I mean grossly inadequate. Our meals all came at different times, our server disappeared for 20 minutes at a time, we waited for a spoon for our soup until after the soup was cold, one meal came as they were clearing everyone elses plates... No apologies, no recognition that this wasnt how you serve food--- seemed like staff was stoned.... and could care less.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 1, 2014

Overall, this amy be the best restaurant in Santa Cruz. You can certainly recommend it to your friends - unless they are burger junkies!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4

Report this review as inappropriate?

If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.