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“Enjoyable meal on the "Silk Road"” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Laili Restaurant

Laili Restaurant
101-B Cooper Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
831-423-4545
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Ranked #4 of 328 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Price range: $7 - $22
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Pacific Avenue
Description: For centuries a five thousand mile trade route has joined the Mediterranean to China through Afghanistan and India. Known mostly for the Silk Trade, the Silk Road has acted as a conduit of ideas, cultures, music, food & spices throughout all of its regions. Laili aims to bring the age old flavors and traditions of the Silk Road to life by creating a positive and relaxing environment with a culturally rich and flavorful dining experience.
Santa Cruz
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Enjoyable meal on the "Silk Road"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

Revisited Laili in December and the meal was delightful and tasty. We ordered the Ashuk dumplings as an appetizer and the spinach salad (with fired goat cheese) and tasty they were with glasses of Storrs chardonnay and an Italian sparkling viognier (a special). My sweetheart ordered the prawn pasta with an interesting sauce, perhaps more of a Mediterranean dish and I had the lamb tenderloin skewer entree (I opted for potatoes as I'm not a big fan of rice). It was an enjoyable meal from start to finish. Although the restaurant tends to be noisy we scored a table (with a reservation) along the open wall, so conversation was not too difficult. The wait staff were attentive and the presentation by the chef visually pleasing. We will return again!

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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140 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    91
    34
    12
    1
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Overpriced and Noisy. Disappointing.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

Touted as an Afghan restaurant buts its just Middle Eastern Food. Very noisy with terrible acoustics. Food prices ok but the wine list had poor selections and seriously overpriced. Guess that's where they are trying to make their money. Has an outdoor patio but dogs not allowed on it!!! Service not great either. Disappointing.

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, CA
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“wonderful experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

This place is not to be missed if you are in Santa Cruz and if you are even a little fond of Middle Eastern food. The ambiance is quite lovely with the sophistication of a city restaurant. The service is friendly and efficient. The food, though, is the crown jewel. The appetizers are simply wonderful and the portions so generous, a couple of these would make a satisfying meal. The Silk Road Plate along with another appetizer is just fantastic. Most surprising of all, the prices are reasonable. In short, I can't say enough about this place. Don't miss it!

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Outdoor patio with great ambiance and wonderful food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

We were very impressed by the friendly atmosphere as soon as we arrived and we got accommodated to move after being seating inside to the outside patio. The outside patio is very cozy so if it is a warm day/evening make sure you get a table outside.
In regards to the food we were all very happy with all our food and my 8 year old loved the Pumpkin Boranee and Vegetarian Maush-awa soup. Lots of great vegetarian options and the balance of the spices are just perfect. We will for sure come back.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 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.
Portland, Maine
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Like I remember”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

I lived in Iran for a year and fantasize about Persian cooking a lot. Most Persian restaurants in my area do kabobs, but the subtleties of the more unusual dishes of that most marvelous cuisine seem only to be found in homes and hardly ever in restaurants. From the moment they put the plate under my nose, the aroma took me back. My dining partner wasn't trying to recall any culinary memories, but he exclaimed over his dish too, so I don't think it was all nostalgia. Laili's bills itself as serving "Silk Road" Cuisine, which gives them some good flexibility. I would definitely go back again.

Visited October 2012
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