Yafa

4.3
242 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 242 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
4.2
food
4.1
service
4.2
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
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RS
RSEA
Detroit
4 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
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
3 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
11 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Local- it is always delicious

MS
MikeS
Phoenix
8 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
5 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
OpenTable Diner
Las Vegas
1 review
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
5 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
16 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
1 review
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
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.

d
vipdallasite
Dallas
14 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food was excellent and the staff friendly and accommodating. When our waiter noticed that I didn't eat my chicken skewers, the owner came to our table and apologized that they were over cooked. He then insisted on not charging us. Wonderful customer service!

UF
UtaF
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Prompt courteous service, excellent food, on the pricey side, very high noise level inside,

OT
OpenTable Diner
Orlando
2 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2021
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Food was fantastic! Had to wait awhile for the food, but it was well worth the wait!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Joaquin
2 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2021
Overall2food2service1ambience2

The service was terrible. We waited and waited to get water and it never came. Normally you get drinks before your food but we received our food and didn’t get drinks until we were almost done eating our food. That was after we asked three separate times for water. Then at the end we ask for the bill and I never came after 45 minutes so we ended up walking up to the cash register and ask him to pay then. There was a dog inside the restaurant that would not stop barking.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Food was pretty good… but as a Lebanese, not exactly what I expected. Everything was delicious, though.
We had lamb meatballs in pasta, Kafta kabobs of lamb and beef, and a labneh starter. The labneh starter was the one that threw me off- it was tzadziki flavored labneh!
It was good… but just not what I was expecting. The pasta seemed authentic and hand pulled, and meats were high quality, tasty, perfectly spiced, and the meat was not dry.

A
Athena
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2021
Overall2food5service1ambience3

To be fair, I've been to Yafa many times and the service is usually excellent. However, I took a new guest there on a Saturday and it took us an HOUR to get drinks and and hour and 15-20 minutes to get food. As there was really no other place to go in Carmel, we were stuck. The food here is always excellent, but the service was atrocious. One server served several other tables before us multiple times. The staff made us feel invisible. Covid has ravaged the service industry and I also feel they did not have enough help. Food was fantastic as always, but you should'nt have to wait an hour and a half for it- especially with a reservation.

L
vipLinda
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Enjoyed our time there. Good food and service. Love the outside dining. Wish Carmel would let them keep it.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I may dream about their butternut squash ravioli for the rest of my life!! Amazing!

M
Marta
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 5, 2021
Overall4food4service2ambience5

Incredibly busy. We booked a reservation online but waited 35 minutes to be seated. Once seated ambiance was lovely. All the staff members were working extremely fast and seemed completely overwhelmed. The pace of food arriving was slow. The food was delicious. It’s a great place but it seems like they need a bigger kitchen & more tables for 2 so seats don’t go vacant while so many people are waiting.

V
vipVicki
San Francisco
70 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience3

I appreciated the dessert with candle per the birthday mention in the OpenTable notes. Many places forget it. Our table was on large outdoor slat, but the heat lamps were most appreciated. Service was spotty - but probably understaffed due to Covid. Most of our dishes were excellent- get the lamb, shrimp, and cauliflower steak, but skip the octopus. Nice pours for the wine by the glass.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 3, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Food was bad, over cooked and overpriced and had horrendous service.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Great food, cute vibe; HUGE glasses of wine! ;)

FAQs

Yafa is rated 4.3 stars by 242 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.