We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Tasty food from the "silk road" menu”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Laili Restaurant

Laili Restaurant
Reserve with OpenTable
Laili Restaurant is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
Ranked #3 of 369 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $7 - $22
Cuisines: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Afghani
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Business meetings, Families with children, Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
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
Level Contributor
93 reviews
72 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Tasty food from the "silk road" menu”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2012

Went on a Sat night (best to make reservations a few days in advance), the menu was quite similar to that posted on line. We started with an organic green salad (with a light cardamom dressing and the Aushak dumplings (an Afghan dish). The salad was very fresh and the dumplings were delightful filled with a mix of leeks, chard and lentils. The flat bread they serve with a relish was terrific, much better than any other restaurant we've been to recently. For entrees we selected the chicken kebab dish and the lamb tenderloin kebob. The lamb was a little spicy but tasty with a glass of chardonnay. The chicken was fresh and cooked to perfection with that great texture that comes from quality ingredients. This is our third trip to this restaurant.

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank mrmikeSantaCruz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

364 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Diverse menu”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 16, 2012

We loved Laili. The room is very open and had a nice buzz. The location is convenient and the food was great, well spiced and creative.

Visited January 2012
Thank ehh11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Great food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 27, 2011

Elegant and interesting space. Nice tables, convivial but far enough apart. Friendly waiter, though he didn't know enough about the wines or food, but good service. Great food, interesting, nicely presented, and very fresh vegetables. Fun and different appetizers. Lots of different dinner options. Need wider wine list. Really good!

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank UsAnna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
47 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Really good food, very nice atmosphere.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2011

Food of the "Silk Road" Afghan to India is the theme. The blends of food presented in appetizers & sauces were lovely and the entrees we had with lamb and chicken were succulent. Really recommend this place for a terrific meal in Santa Cruz. We were there on a cold rainy night, but supposedly they have a great patio too. Nice staff.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank ringdiam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, CA
Level Contributor
158 reviews
133 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
“Delightful Mediterranean in Downtown Santa Cruz”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2011

We live in the mountains near Santa Cruz, and this relatively new restaurant has become another of our local favorites. My wife, a vegetarian, loves the house-made soup, a rich, thick mix of vegetables and beans. I often order the version of the same soup that includes lamb. It's pretty obvious that they're cooked in different pots. I've been on a diet for a while, so we're both happy with the salads and appetizers (usually more than a half dozen to choose from) and the trout (broiled or pan fried, I think). There are also the usual selection of grilled Mediterranean meats, and when I've tried them I've enjoyed them. The restaurant is in a big space, and has a lovely outdoor seating area that is enclosed on all four sides. We enjoy sitting outside in nice weather. The indoor seating is mostly pleasant, except that it can be noisy.

There's a nice selection of beers, three decent local beers on draft, more very good ones in bottles. The only negative we've found in a half dozen or so visits is that, thanks to their growing popularity, they are occasionally understaffed, which can make service pretty slow. Hopefully they'll work their way through that.

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank JimBrown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Laili Restaurant also viewed


Been to Laili Restaurant? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing