Yafa

4.5
254 Reviews
$30 and under
Mediterranean
Yafa Restaurant is a casual corner cafe serving delicious Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes in a warm and homey environment.
What 254 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Quiet
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OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The hummus lamb is yummy. The lamb is finely chopped and seared. Nice browned and almost crispy on top of lovely hummus. Served with warmed fresh pita pieces that were delicious. Had the salmon dinner it was cooked perfectly. Also had a house Sauvignon Blanc which I really enjoyed. Service was a bit slow. But very much enjoyed the whole experience. Really liked the Moroccan style music as well.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was outstanding!

B
Bill
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved the people who own it, the food, their stories of recipes.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Very good food. Portions were a little small the appetizers but the food was excellent

JB
JaniceB
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We've been there a few times and very often order just appetizers as they are delicious and plentiful. The dolmas and spanakopita with tzatziki sauce were wonderful as was the baba ghanoush, and the pita bread was very fresh. Service is spot on. A truly enjoyable experience.

DL
vipDavidL
Central Coast
13 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We are regulars at Yafa's for a very good reason, the food and service are excellent and it is one of our favorite restaurants in the entire Monterey area. We introduced friends to Yafa's last night, one of them a vegetarian who said he had trouble choosing among several very attractive sounding dishes, and they were very happy with their meals, the wine suggested by the owner, and the very reasonable bill.

S
vipSchieky
Los Angeles
110 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We enjoyed an Anniversary dinner at YAFA. We were very secretive about it. They found out probably by looking at Open Table? We got the table we wanted. All the staff was masked. The food is delicious. It was impossible to take leftovers because I couldn’t stop tasting until everything was gone. We declined dessert and then to our surprise they brought out glasses with dessert wines and baklava with a creamy top and they wished us Happy Anniversary! So, how is that for an enthusiastic endorsement?

NE
vipNapaEater
San Francisco
50 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The owners were extremely gracious and generous - they had champagne for us to start and ended with their baklava. Always love having a beautiful meal here.

M
vipMard
San Francisco
39 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Very friendly family run Lebanese/Palestinian restaurant with typical dishes very nicely prepared. A great alternative to the salmon and steak cuisine typical of Carmel.

RL
vipRLWRISK
San Francisco
42 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

WOW, special value & quality for a high end destination as Carmel By The Sea is known for.

We have added for return destination, just so great of experience.

Enjoy

Bob

TS
ToddS
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service, food and ambiance! We’ll be back!

M
vipMelissa
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Fantastic food. Very fresh and authentic. Loved the hummus & pita and mishmash chicken. Yummy!

RS
RSEA
Detroit
4 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A quiet gem with superb food and outstanding service. If I lived in the area I would definitely be a regular.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience3

Generally decent, but OpenTable, Yelp ratings are glorified.
Some restaurant management staff/ownership was not
was wearing masks.
Chicken was dry, chewy and stale. They did not charge
for this dish.

A
Ania
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Table cloths dirty, food is very greasy and low quality. Over salted, bad presentation.

IB
IsaacB
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Compared to previous times that we’ve been here, this time the food was just mediocre. The service was excellent as usual.

D
Deedee
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

We all ordered something different and everyone loved their meal. My salmon was cooked perfectly as was my friend’s filet. The meatballs, appetizers, and pasta dishes were very good too. The owners were were so kind and welcoming; we’ll definitely be back.

TR
TimR
New England
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Wonderful evening. The relaxed pace and excellent service is worth the wait for delicious food. The owner is very involved in making sure everyone feels welcome and well taken care of.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2021
Overall3food2service5ambience3

Service was good but food was not very flavorful.

MR
MariaR
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Local- it is always delicious

MS
MikeS
Phoenix
10 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Based on good reviews, we looked forward to this meal; however, our prompt arrival for our reservation seemed to flummox the two person wait staff. Things went downhill from there. Although there was only one couple on the patio finishing, one couple inside at mid-meal, and a just seated and menu-ed trio next to us, everything moved glacially. When an ounce of what tasted like tomato paste with a dab of old oil and a pinch of exhausted herb finally arrived with bread, I sensed we were in trouble. The two ounces of mushy eggplant for my entree tasted as though it had been taken out of a grocery store jar and left uncovered for 48 hours and the cup of yellow rice lacked any seasoning. Both were almost cold. My husband’s lamb shank might have been ok if it had not been accompanied by a loose soupy, barely warm gravy which rendered the “garlic” mashed potatoes and the whole dish unappetizing. Since I wanted beer and my husband wanted wine, we didn’t order our usual bottle of wine with dinner; mistake! The house Pinot looked and tasted like day old coffee gone bad. By the way, if the watermelon is not spectacular, take the feta and watermelon salad off the menu, if you don’t know how to serve ouzo, don’t, and if you pay so little attention to details that there’s no toilet paper in the ladies room perhaps you should close. We’ve spent lots of time in Mediterranean countries so we know how this food could/should taste. 09/07/2021

SM
SaraM
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Cute spot for a romantic date! Great ambiance and lighting.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding! Rita and Dio are so warm, hospitable and attentive. The food is absolutely world class!! Our favorite in Carmel and we live here!
Frank and Mary

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Las Vegas
3 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great host

r
vipreviewer
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Friendly, lovely service.

S
Shar
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is amazing! They make you feel so welcome like family. This has become our go to restaurant in Carmel. Highly recommend going here.

S
Skier
Central Coast
10 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Never acknowledged or apologized for terrible service
Waited 1 1/2 to even be waited on
Food inedible

J
vipJohn
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience3

Been to Yafa many times. The last three times the food has been bland and tasteless. Likely to go back. Disappointing 😔

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Austin
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food and great service.

LF
LarryF
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

The host/owner was very welcoming and engaging. Service was great and there was enough variety for all our tastes. We would strongly recommend this restaurant.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2021
Overall4food2service2ambience3

The rice was over cooked, mushy and flavorless. Pita bread was burnt. Other than that, the kebabs were good. Eggplant delight was lacking though.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was outstanding

AM
AliM
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was our first time at Yafa, and we loved it. The food was excellent. The proprietor was so nice and attentive -- great food and wine recommendations. We will definitely be back!

M
Mlc57
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Dia and his team present an absolutely lovely experience. The hummus is heavenly, the pita is fresh and light, their lamb chops are unmatched and served with incredibly fresh spinach and melt-in-your-mouth mashed potatoes. Ask for a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream with the date dessert...simply decadent. The environment is warm and inviting with the team to match. Definitely worth visiting anytime you are in Carmel

PB
PaulB
Salt Lake City
38 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Service was extremely spotty. I believe the staff were overworked. It took about an hour for our fairly standard items to be prepared. The chicken dish I had was overcooked and tough.

TS
TheSaint
Sacramento
22 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Yafa was better than I remember. One of our go to’s while in Carmel.

MC
MonicaC
Sacramento
17 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

We enjoyed our meal at YAFA. The owner (I’m assuming) was very friendly. Our dinner took a while to arrive and they forgot my sauvignon blanc, but once we had our dinners, we were quite happy. I had the pan seared salmon in a dill and caper sauce over veggies and my husband had the seafood pasta We ended the evening with a decadent chocolate cake and
Ouzo which were perfect! It’s a small, somewhat noisy place with plastic tablecloths. I would love to see better linens, but everything else was great.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Dia and Rita are amazing hosts. The atmosphere and service is wonderful and the food is 5star all the way. I have tried almost everything in the menu and it is all remarkable.

n
vipnjrestaurant
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2021
Overall3food2service3ambience3

We were disappointed in the food taste - we had been here a couple of years ago and the food seemed much better. Everything we ordered was far from the best we have enjoyed at other Mediterranean restaurants.

AL
AliL
San Diego
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The whole experience was perfection. The food, wine, and service will keep us coming back for more.

FAQs

Yafa is rated 4.5 stars by 254 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.