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“Outstanding food in a beautiful setting”
Review of Laili Restaurant

Laili Restaurant
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Ranked #3 of 373 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $7 - $22
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
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.
Benicia, California
Level 6 Contributor
138 reviews
84 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“Outstanding food in a beautiful setting”
Reviewed June 15, 2014

I have been to Laili Restaurant many times for lunch. Still haven't made it for dinner, but would love to. My favorite is to sit out in the garden on a nice day and enjoy the extraordinary food. I could just order several plates of Kadoo boranee (butternut squash appetizer) and be in ecstasy. Really great service and nice people as well.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank redyoga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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386 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
santa cruz
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“great for a group”
Reviewed June 13, 2014

I can't speak for all the aspects of Laili because I have only been in the outdoor area, and with a medium sized group for a graduation dinner. But it was absolutely wonderful for this occasion. The food was unique and everything was delicious. It was served "family style" so plates were passed and this actually added to the fun. There were several courses and the servers were very attentive so there was always food there. It was a coolish evening but there were heaters that were just right. Being open to the sky but surrounded by building walls (and lots of plants) on each side was actually very nice.
We are eager to go back to simply dine as a couple. It did seem quite noisy and chaotic indoors though when we passed through- it was a weekend evening. But having choices about seating should make it work whatever atmosphere you prefer. I am only guessing about the cost rating, since someone else was hosting.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank cruzannie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Silk Road Flavors - Not Your Average Restaurant Food”
Reviewed May 31, 2014

My husband and I are repeat visitors of Laili restaurant and we continue to enjoy it. The butternut squash and quirk appetizer is plenty for two. We usually share the large Greek salad which is always fresh and never over dressed. The entrees are generous portions. I usually enjoy the chicken kebab which is large pieces of breast meat that is amazingly never dry. The chutneys that accompany the dish are very flavorful. Also noteworthy is the salmon which is often a special menu addition and always delicious. Sadly we are usually so full, we never have room for dessert.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Robin A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2014

We went to this restaurant on our first evening in Santa Cruz. My husband said it was Mediterranean food and it was very good. He has been here on previous trips for business and wanted to return. We have another week here but, t date this is my favorite. Everything is expensive in Santa Cruz but the food is worth the price here!

Visited May 2014
1 Thank Smead1950
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, CA
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“For something different, and really good.....”
Reviewed May 29, 2014

Laili I think is mediterranean influenced food, and I recognized some pictures on the wall from Turkey. The ambience is great with both indoor and outdoor dining. Spaceous and comfortable. The menu is quite unique in my opinion. We had two appetizers, a squash type dish with a bit of mint, which was very unique and very good, I highly recommend it. We also had a ravioli type appetizer, maybe called aushak (?), which was delicious. Then we shared a cauliflower entree, that was well prepared and very tasty. One of the best things of all was the service: I was asking about 3 wines, and the server said "why don't I bring you a taste of each?" Wow! That was like a mini wine tasting. I tried them all, thought about them, and then ordered a glass. From the beginning, therefore, I was in a good mood, felt well treated, and happy to be there.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Aaron L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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