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“Atmosphere, Nah....Superb Food, Yah!!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ali Baba

Ali Baba
2405 Michael Dr, Newbury Park, CA 91320-3259
805-480-0324
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Ranked #30 of 85 Restaurants in Newbury Park
Restaurant details
Ojai, California
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Atmosphere, Nah....Superb Food, Yah!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2012

Ali Baba;s dishes up some fantastic takes on Middle Eastern cuisine. There's originality in the preparation, sincerity in the service, and huge value in these low prices, large portions, and quality ingredients. And save room for the baklava, which comes in a big slab yet costs just $1.99. The Turkish coffee at $3.99 comes in a teapot filled to its brim with thick, rich, caffeinated hi-test goodness.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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25 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
California
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Great food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2012

I keep meaning to try more dishes but the beef shawarma is just so good I can't more. Nice small place, good food and a great staff and owner.

Visited June 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newbury Park, California
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Quick lunch was fantastic”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2011

I thought I'd get a quick lunch and ordered the chicken curry as a bench mark dish. I was great! perfectly seasoned with grilled veggies, salad, bread and I couldn't stop eating until it was all gone. Very nice owner who also supports the community. I will be back for sure.

Visited November 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, NV
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“Bad attitude by ownership - 2 strikes, you're out!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2010

We used to go to Ali Baba semi-frequently, and it was always a treat. The food was very good, and the prices, while not a bargain, were reasonable.

Unfortunately, despite a complete lack of Middle Eastern restaurants in Ventura County, we will not be returning to Ali Baba. The management is obnoxious and clearly does not care about the happiness of their customers.

Our first bad experience involved the vegetables that came on the plate. It was near the end of their opening hours, and they were clearly trying to serve us the dried-out, small pieces that had filtered to the bottom of the pan. When bringing this to the server's attention, she gave us an attitude. She had the nerve to tell us that "it's better this way", and in fact denied that these were the last remnants of what they had made for the night. We asked for her to make new ones, and she told us that they were done making vegetables for the night! So our assumptions were correct! However, given that we had no problems with this place prior to that meal, we chalked it up to the idiosyncrasies of eating at a small, family-owned place.

Unfortunately, our next visit to Ali Baba involved a much worse service situation. We arrived at the restaurant, and their very small dining room was full. We sat without any service for about 10 minutes, and my girlfriend remarked that everyone in the restaurant looked very unhappy. Indeed, I looked around, and every single table had hungry-looking patrons with frowns on their faces! I've never seen a restaurant crowd so collectively unhappy. Though we had only been there 10 minutes, we surmised that the problem was with the service. Indeed, not one table had a single morsel of food on it. In the meantime, the waitress was on the phone taking a massive phone pickup order. In addition, there were a few packages already made for other pickup orders, and various people were coming in to get them.

We waited about 10 more minutes and the waitress did not even approach us once. We didn't even have a glass of water yet, and neither did many of the other tables that were there well before us. I finally approached her and asked when we would be getting service. She rudely barked at me, "Can't you see I'm on the phone taking a pickup order?! I'll get to you when I have time!"

I told her that we had been waiting for 20 minutes with no service, and she rudely snapped that they're "very busy with pickup orders tonight" and that I would just have to wait until she was ready for me.

It was clear that the pickup orders took complete precedent over everyone in the restaurant, as I guess they assumed the people eating in were already there, so they were last priority. I told her that we would be walking out if she couldn't get to us now, and she was happy to let us leave.

That was the last time we ever went to Ali Baba. Making the in-restaurant diners second-class citizens to pickup orders is bad enough, but to be treated rudely for complaining about it was too much. I will not patronize any establishment that doesn't care about its customers. It seems as if they see it as doing their customers a favor by serving them, rather than the fact that their customers are the ones who keep them in business.

Hopefully another Middle Eastern restaurant opens in the area. Until then, I'll just have to go without that type of food.

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newbury Park, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“A Truly Wonderful Surprise!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2009

This is a true hole in the wall establishment that absolutely knocked my socks off. Its family owned and operated so you're in for a no rushed casual experience. The food is above and beyond what I was expecting... by a long shot.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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