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Malabar Cafe

514 Front St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-4506
831-458-3023
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Ranked #51 of 329 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Cuisines: Asian
Dining options: Reservations
Most recent review
- Aug 22, 2014
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
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54 reviews from our community

83% Recommend
    31
    14
    6
    1
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Tampa, FL
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2014 NEW

I had never had Sri Lankan food before and found it to be an interesting blend of Indian and Asian. This was heavenly! I went with two friends so my taste buds were tempted with green beans with hoisin sauce, pumpkin with black curry powder and pesto ravioli. Flavors were potent yet not overpowering. One of my friends is a... More

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Monterey Peninsula, California
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2014

I knew someplace like Santa Cruz HAD to have good veggie food and Cafe Gratitude was no it. So gad we found Malabar. Good food, well spiced urn soonand reasonably priced. Pleasant service and plating of food was nice to see.We where late to a concert and had to take our last course "to go". The noodles were fun to... More

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Top Contributor
162 reviews 162 reviews
96 restaurant reviews
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

We let my daughter and her roommate pick the restaurant. Frankly, I had no idea what Sri Lankan food was. My daughter said it was similar to Thai. She was wrong, it's nothing like Thai, closer to Indian food, but really it's own category. When we walked in, sat down, and looked at the menu, it was clear, this was... More

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Fremont, California, United States
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2014

Surprised to see a Srilankan place in Santa Cruz - but it was great. Dishes were all good - i highly recommend the Kotha Roti. And wash it down with a yummy Moroccan Lassi. Decor was nice and service was excellent (maybe it was the owner who waited on us). Food presentation was great too!

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Santa Barbara, California
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2014

Do not be fooled by the seemingly aloof service: this place has some of the best Sri Lankan food we've had in the Western World. Their dishes are extremely flavorful and all made fresh with the best ingredients. Their drinks are very exotic and just absolutely amazing. We've tried many and found all to be a treat to the senses.... More

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Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2014

Found this place on HappyCow as we were looking for vegan food. Nothing on the menu says vegan vs veggie and staff wasn't very helpful answering questions. Food was amazing and so full of flavor - I'm sure we had some ghee or butter. Simple decor - and simple can be good if it were clean - but there was... More

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Grass Valley, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2014

This Veggie Indian restaurant is not high on joyful service, but what a taste treat. Usually, I find Indian restaurant food too heavy. but not here.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2014

Slow service, rude staff, courteous owner, decent food, good and simple ambiance, clean bathroom and very expensive especially given their quantities ! Wouldn't come here again.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2014 via mobile

Such a treat to have a whole vegetarian menu to choose from. Food is great. However tables are crowded and service is terrible! Be sure to make a reservation but no guarantee that will get you in.

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Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2013

My daughter and I went to Santa Cruz for a day. One of her friends had told her about the restaurant Malabar so we decided to go and check it out. It was the most fantastic vegetarian restaurant I had ever been to. They had such interesting menu items that it was very hard to choose what to have. We... More

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