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“Great Middle Eastern Alternative” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Armenian Cafe

Armenian Cafe
3126 Carlsbad Blvd., Carlsbad, CA 92008-2908
760-720-2233
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Ranked #23 of 280 Restaurants in Carlsbad
Price range: $5 - $22
Cuisines: Armenian, Greek, Lebanese, Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Scenic view
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Takeout, Late Night
Description: INDOOR & OUTDOOR OCEAN VIEW DINING - HEATED OUTDOOR PATIOS - LIVE ENTERTAINMENT AND BELLY DANCING ON THE WEEKENDS
Sacramento, California, United States
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“Great Middle Eastern Alternative”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

When we realized the local fish taco joint only had outdoor seating, we walked up the street and were attracted by the outdoor patio heaters at the Armenian Cafe. They had an expansive menu, with some interesting vegetarian alternatives, so we decided to chance the cool ocean air on the patio with the heater.
"Al" was our friendly and funny server, and soon enough we were imbibing California merlot and a pomegranate martini. I chose the falafel pizza with their (hugely) garlic sauce, and this was truly a first for me. Falafel balls on a pizza were possibly the weirdest culinary inspiration I'd seen in a long time, but they were tasty!
My partner had their very tender chicken kabob with the light rice pilaf and also served with an intense garlic sauce. Yum!
We finished off the meal at Al's recommendation with kashta era, a supposedly Armenian tirimisu. It had not an ounce of coffee flavoring in it; instead the nutmeg cake had a an amazing kashta cream topping with pistachios and my favorite middle east flavoring: rosewater syrup. Not too sweet, but an exquisite combination of sensory flavors and textures, we left full and delighted by our unexpected multi-cultural find. The only small beef is that $3 for a cup of coffee when the entrees were only $9 was overpriced. Highly recommended!

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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188 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    83
    73
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
293 reviews 293 reviews
179 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 115 cities Reviews in 115 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
“Not accommodating.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013 via mobile

Our party actually ended up leaving this restaurant without eating. The staff refused to allow any substitutions for a vegetarian in our party, and would not offer or allow any substitution for a person who is gluten-free without a hiked up charge. We normally would never walk out of a restaurant, and we love Mediterranean food. However, all dinners come with chicken soup with orzo and pita. Due to their rigid rules, we decided to leave. Unaccomodating to any dietary restrictions.

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“GREAT PATIO DINING”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

Food network says you eat with your eyes first...I believe you eat with your olfactory senses first. Then your eyes, then your tastebuds. I have eaten in several Middle Eastern restaurants of varying cultures. The first thing when I exit my car is the aromas. I stayed right next door to this place & never smelled their food aromas.
I had a too large bowl of their creamy style chicken/lemon soup (with no chicken). And a few grains of rice. After a while the flavors were a little too much-it was my meal, but a cup would have been fine.
As I said I was staying next door and the Armenian serves breakfast later than 1PM. SO...the next day I strolled over to have a lateish breakfast. I had eggs, over easy (two out of three anyway) and shish kebab. The only flavors were from the onions & squash on the kebab.
All in all it's convenient and acceptable. Its not exactly fantastic. The servers are hard workers and deserve credit. ALTHOUGH the server from the first day (whom I tipped well) looked over the top of my head each time he passed by. He never acknowledged me in any way. No excuse for ignoring customers.

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Familiar with Greek/Mediterranean Food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

Having moved to Southern California from the burbs of Chicago you just have to LOVE a "Greek" restaurant every once in a while. They always have a HUGE menu of choices, work hard, prove the customer is always first and know how to cook. Sat outside in the sun on a Sunday in February. Well done!

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Canada
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Depends...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

If you are not too familiar with the cuisine, you might be forgiven for giving this restaurant a high rating: it serves food not found on your standard North American menu.

However, if you have eaten in several cities and overseas in restaurants serving Mediterranean-area fare, plus, if you know how to and have cooked these dishes yourself, you will find this restaurant's food only average at best, judging from a recent meal.

They tout their lamb as top-notch - it isn't. Our group was served overcooked, tough and chewy lamb kebabs. Any chef worthy of the name should know lamb is never to be served this well done! As to the quality of the meat, it certainly fell short of expectations.

The kebabs rested on a bed of rice that was under-seasoned and basically tasteless. What happened?

On the other hand, the salad was tasty and the garlic sauce potent. This sauce/dip is similar to a Greek skordalia, except with more garlic. Beware if you're squeamish, but we liked it.

Service could not be faulted, the ocean view from the patio is pleasant. Would we return? No, because the food doesn't justify the prices charged.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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