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Malabar Cafe

514 Front St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-4506
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Ranked #59 of 324 restaurants in Santa Cruz
Cuisines: Asian
Dining options: Reservations
Most recent review
- Mar 16, 2014
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
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47 reviews from our community

82% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
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
42 reviews 42 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 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
54 reviews 54 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
30 helpful votes 30 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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San Jose, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2013

Our party of three was seated very quickly on a Saturday night without a reservation. The restaurant was fairly full. The restaurant was a little too dimly lit. That was our only annoyance that night as we had a difficult time reading the menu. I wanted to try everything! We shared a starter of Salad Roll of avocado, tempeh &... More

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Minneapolis, Minnesota
5 reviews 5 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013 via mobile

Just had the most exquisite dining experience at Malabar. It would be good for a date or just dinner with a friend (like I did). The ambiance was relaxing and quaint, the service attentive and friendly. Every dish was unique, plated immaculately, and absolutely delicious. I ordered the Persian Nights drink, smooth creamy fruity deliciousness. Our favorite dish was the... More

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Santa Cruz, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2013

This place should be packed every night. They aren't the best advertisers, maybe...but those of us Santa Cruz foodies know: the food at this place is unbeatable. My fiance and I have been to Malabar maybe 10-12 times in the past three years. The food has allllways been the best tasting and most creative, flavor-wise (I love to cook but... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Placerville, California
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2013

We happened on this restaurant by chance . The gentlemen in the information booth down the street gave it his recommendation . I figured ed we would try out luck . We walked a block and found it . We were greeted pretty quickly and taken to our table. They gave my three your old daughter special attention asking her... More

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Kansas City, Missouri
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

We heard about this place from a local. He said we could get a delicious vegetarian lunch for a very reasonable price. We'd never had Sri Lankan food, so we gave it a try. It was fantastic! We loved all four entrees and the appetizer. We arrived right at noon when they open and had the place to ourselves. Needless... More

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Lake Tahoe, NV
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

I am well versed in Thai food, Indian food, Ethiopian food, and most ethnic foods. I am not well versed in Sri Lankan food but after my visit here I am a passionate believer and supporter in it. This place is a step above most any vegetarian restaurant I have been to. The cauliflower dish is one of the most... More

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santa cruz
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

I take all my relatives here when they visit, vegetarian or not, and every single one has loved it. The food is fresh from the farm and uniquely prepared. The service is s..l...o...w. Come here when you are not in a hurry, with good company. If you are trying to catch a movie/plane or are feeling at all impatient, this... More

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