Layla at MacArthur Place

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4.3
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59 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Mediterranean
Now Open! Situated in a historic and iconic barn within the verdant 6-acre grounds of MacArthur Place in downtown Sonoma, Layla is a comfortable, sophisticated, “Mediterranean kitchen” dining experience from Executive Chef Cole Dickinson who hails from 3 Michelin-starred restaurants. Our breakfast, lunch and dinner menus feature healthy, organic options as well as heartier fare, fresh and locally-sourced ingredients -- all served in a bright, airy space with a convivial vibe.
What 59 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.1
service
4.7
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JM
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

We had high expectations, given its association with Geoffrey Zakarian, but we were very disappointed. Very poor management and execution a month after opening. We arrived on time for our 7:15 reservation, but were told by the hostess our table was not ready so we should wait in the bar for 15 minutes. Ok, that happens. We sat in the bar for 10 minutes with the wait staff walking around us and ignoring us. I complained (which I rarely do), at which time the hostess argued with me that we hadn't been there all that long. A short time later we were seated in a half empty dining room. We had a professional waiter who was working like crazy trying to cover the whole room, while various runners and bussers were milling around doing nothing. The octopus appetizer was tough and overcooked. The hummus and baba ganoush were colorful, but bland. We shared a whole baked fish that was ok, but no better than what I could do at home. It came with a few poorly dressed pieces of tough lettuce that was supposed to be a salad. One needed a knife to cut it, but all we had were fish knives which did not work. There was a big problem with the wine service. The waiter didn't take our wine order until 20 minutes after we sat down. The wine, a $90.00 bottle of French white, took another ten minutes to get there and then was at room temperature. I'm ok with this sort of thing in a local neighborhood joint, or two days after opening, but from a high-end restaurant management chain 30 days in ? We are locals, who had hoped to become regulars, and are very familiar with the competition in Sonoma and Napa. Layla needs a major recharge, particularly at the front of the house, or it will not make it. For whatever it's worth, I don't like to dump on people in online reviews.

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m
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

service dropped off half way through our exceptional meal ie no one around; water not filled
no bill delivered promptly when we were ready to be well on our way out
they were busy
food is fantastic
manager picked a wonderful wine for us
corkage fee reasonable
no 20% on group of 6 which is good though I left only 15% due to above when I almost always tip 20%
one nitpicking complaint; the table side preparation of the excellent sea bass for two took too long while others had their meals cooling in front of them
we will be back regularly though

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S
Phoenix
4 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 5

Wonderful decor, interesting food and really bad service. The service is not on par with the food and decor

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SV
Phoenix
6 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

First experience at new Layla's for Father's Day and Grandson Grad fete lunch/brunch. Service was mostly very good. They did have to be reminded about two Mimosas. Salmon Benedict by two of us was very good. Grandson had Omelet with the pimento cheese filling but could only eat a little of it...filling and egg center very runny. Son had the Scrambowl which he said was OK, but both he and Grandson said the egg texture was very odd. The truffle/parmesan fries were a definite hit. We were compensated for the Omelet which was quite unsatisfactory and we appreciated that. A bit noisy with all of the hard surfaces.Will definitely go back for another try and to try bar menu and a dinner as this was formerly a favorite place.

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s
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Servers are young and are not attentive to the tables in their station. We had to ask to order. Ask for coffee. Ask for sauces. Ask for the check. Beautiful room

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SD
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our 2nd dinner at Layla and our 2nd experience topped our first amazing impression. From arrival to dessert it was a wonderful, curated experience with incredible ingredients, attentive staff, and beautiful presentation. We enjoyed the salt-baked branzino with kombu that served 4 of us and it was superb! Love the spreads and the fava guacamole which was special and the pastas are delicious. This is the most beautiful dining room and bar in Sonoma!

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c
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We've been vacationing at Sonoma for a number of years and this is, by far and without a doubt, the best meal and dining experience we've had. The meal and service were incredible. We've had the opportunity to eat at nice restaurants around the country and found ourselves pleasantly surprised by each and every course. The appetizers were amazing (our table tried 3), soup and salad dishes were exceptional, and the salt-crusted mahi mahi was the best I've had (cut and served at the table). The deserts were wonderful; however, the one hit is that on desert (donut hole things) was too big a portion. How'd that for a downside? There's a culture here that is unique to Sonoma. We appreciated that the corking fee was waived as we purchased an additional bottle of wine. We were not rushed (~2.5 hour family dinner) and the staff was incredibly well-informed and helpful. I can't begin to tell you how wonderful the experience was from the moment our car was valeted: they pay attention to the details. This is a special place. My only hope is that the chef, his staff, and the wait staff is still around next time we visit as I suspect that we will visit a number of times (and we'll be able to get reservations there next time as once the word is out I suspect it will be hard to get). The cost is well within the range of restaurants in Sonoma but the experience can't be beat. For those wanting an exceptional dining experience: this is the place. Cheers to you Chef!

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TB
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This lovely property has just been freshly renovated and is a beauty. Lunch was absolutely delicious, and the grounds were peaceful and really well manicured. We’re looking forward to another meal here soon. We’ve even recommended our out of town friends stay here the next time they visit. Beautiful property.

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M
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great overall/ food excellent- sometimes hard to understand server with relay of ingredients- seems to be an over abundance of servers/ bus people so not as relaxing

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d
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great new restaurant for Sonoma. Menu is small, but creative. Food is excellent, fresh flavors and presented beautifully. Staff is super accommodating and friend,ly. The bar serves a smaller version of the menu and is great if you don’t have time for a long dinner. Have been very happy both times I have eaten here so far and plan to go back. Looking forward to the outside seating area to be open, as is dog friendly and beautifully designed.

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I
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 3ambience 4

Newly opened with many kinks to work out. Staff seems inexperienced. Burger was a disappointment. The decor is nice.
I would give it another chance in three months.

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OT
San Francisco
41 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

This is a remodel, redo on Saddles Steakhouse at MacArthur Place. What a beautiful remodel! The bar/lounge is terrific, it appears they'll have 50 seats outdoors, and they have a coffee shop/bar. Service is excellent and the ambiance is a little sterile but very nice. Food was imaginative and delicious. However...$200 for a couple with one drink and one glass of wine apiece is a little too much. We will be back but will go to the lounge and order drinks and an appetizer instead of the dining room

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m
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was fabulous. Wonderful to have a first rate fine dining establishment in Sonoma. We will be back many time I suspect.

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GK
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent! Great changes Great Food Great staff .

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OT
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a fantastic spot in Sonoma!! The bar, the restaurant the food. The entire evening was perfection. If we lived here full time we would be regulars!!

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M
5 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was brilliant except for the noise level which was challenging.

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CS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Extremely noisey! Service and food was excellent. The price was ok for food but very high for cocktails. Diffidently not a place to stop by for a drink

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y
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was fabulous - the flavors outstanding. Bravo to the chef.

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PB
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We used to go to Saddles at the same location and Layla's is a wonderful upgrade and update. The place looks terrific, the food was creative and spectacular and the service staff couldn't have been nicer. We will be making Layls's a favorite haunt of ours.

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FH
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

We were seated right on time. It was an early resie, 6:30 pm, on a Sunday. They were out of Grey Goose vodka for cocktails. They were also out of petrale sole, which is on the menu. There were only 2 fish on the menu. And they had one order left of the only other fish on the menu. Our waiter was really nice, but this was really disappointing for a restaurant of this supposed caliber.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great meal! Great service!

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RC
San Francisco
31 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Nice atmosphere and environment. Food is very good however portions are smaller than normal. A good place for health oriented individuals.

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EJ
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were attended to from the moment we got out of our car until we left. Food was beautiful and very tasty. Beautiful restaurant and bar. More expensive than most Sonoma restaurants, but I feel worth the price.

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l
Los Angeles
73 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 4

Poor service - everyone was very nice just not attentive at all. They might have had something going on this day. Food mediocre. Beautiful space. Under construction as well.

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D
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

The restaurant remodel is such an incredible improvement, and a wonderful addition to the town of Sonoma. The service was awkward and rough, a server spilled the amuse bouche on my lap, and the waiter constantly hovered interrupting conversation awkwardly at the table multiple times throughout our meal. I did request a quieter table, having been in the hotel before and experiencing the high noise levels. I had the lamb tagine, which was good, but lacked accompaniment options. I look forward to dining here again once some kinks are worked out.

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SF
San Francisco
58 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Layla is a terrific addition to Sonoma dining options. The restaurant is beautiful, the service attentive. They seem to be making an effort to deliver high-end service, from the valet parking to waiters. The food is creative and delicious. We all had seafood, notably the poached halibut with a thick "Mediterranean" style tomato sauce, and salmon served with cauliflower couscous. The wine list offers a range of wines and prices. We had a lovely evening and will definitely return. They also serve meals in the bar, which looks comfortable and inviting.

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A
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Everyone is very nice / too nice! It’s kinda awkward. They kinda talk too much. They are trying way too hard and it’s exhsusting. Overpriced. Food is good, however. I miss Saddles! A little too chi-chi.

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P
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on May 27, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 5

Beautiful remodel, light & bright. Wait staff was well trained & attentive, but kitchen was very slow.
Our lunch took 2-1/2 hours! It’s also pretty expensive, lunch for for was almost $200 with tip.

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s
San Francisco
110 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Just opened and already probably the best best brunch kitchen in Sonoma.
The servers are new and hopefully will mature a bit with more experience.
Best eggs ever!

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o
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Superb service. Beautiful facility. Wait staff most accommodating.
Will definitely return.

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BS
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

Great menu and setting. We know service will improve with time.

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GE
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Be prepared for noise and groups of intoxicated patrons. Management did a pretty good job dealing with the intoxicated folks. When they were cut off and left in a huff, people at several tables applauded. I ordered a $50+ plus ribeye cooked medium. The cut was cooked rare and had a lot of fat and gristle. Also take care in ordering a bottle of wine - watch the pricing. We got a decent $20 bottle of Sauvignon blanc and paid $90 for it. Service was good, but they control the pouring of the wine by storing it away from the table. Next time I will insist that they leave the bottle on the table. We decided to call this our once per year restaurant due to the high pricing.

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OT
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 3ambience 4

Just an underwhelming meal and experience at a very high price point

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Impeccable service and the food was delicious!

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BA
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Highly recommend Laylas the food and service amazing.

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JL
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was phenomenal. Beautiful presentation coupled with savory and unique flavors made a killer combo. Chef Dickinson is making a great impression in the region!

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MG
San Francisco
47 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Very unique menu that offers opportunity for sharing plates or individual entrees. Excellent bar and expansive wine list. As a local Sonoman, I will definitely be going back.

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OT
San Francisco
143 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our first visit to Layla since the transformation from Saddles. Wow what a lovey surprise
We love all of the new rooms, the dining room is light and open , the bar looks wonderful-we will check that out soon.
We were celebrating our Anniversary-# 27-the night we were there.
Our waiter greeted us with Happy Anniversary which was nice
He described the menu and each items and made some suggestions.
We wanted to try different menu items so we started with the Hummus trio- delicious.
I had the beet salad which was wonderful, my husband had the mixed green salad which he also loved
I ordered the Halibut for my main course- cooked perfectly and the sauce with the olives was a perfect compliment
My husband had the lamb tangine. He said it was very tender with the yummy sauce.
We were too full for dessert.

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OT
Miami
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Great food, great atmosphere

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E
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 1ambience 5

It's still just two weeks in, so fingers crossed the significant service issues will get worked out. Layla has so much potential - beautiful and comfortable space, food, wine list, and bar are so very good. But, the service is tone deaf, uninformed and just kind of strange. Fix it please; Sonoma needs you to be as great as you are meant to be.

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