Modern Afghan Cuisine | Farm-to-Table Recipes | Communal Dining Space | Open Kitchen | Idyllic Courtyard
The Focus: Wafi Amin came to the United States in 1975 to study and learn about the world, but while he was here, the Soviet Union invaded his native Afghanistan. So Amin decided to stay. Years later he opened Laili as both an homage to his homeland's culture and as an exploration of the flavors of the Silk Road—a 5,000-mile trade route between the Mediterranean and China.
Where to Sit: If the weather is accommodating, head outside. Laili is home to a courtyard so secluded that it can only be seen while riding in a helicopter or on Godzilla's shoulder. Amid its white tablecloths, ivy climbs toward light-draped beams, and palm fronds share space with flickering heaters. On rainy days, plant yourself indoors at one of the communal dining tables, where you can brush elbows with a cross-section of downtown.
While You're Waiting
While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Read up on the Silk Road at Bookshop Santa Cruz, an independent staple since 1966 (1520 Pacific Avenue).
After: Settle in for a nightcap at 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall (110 Walnut Avenue), which has amassed an impressive collection of craft brews and strong Belgian ales.
With a stay at Chaminade Resort & Spa in Santa Cruz, you'll be in the mountains and convenient to DeLaveaga Golf Course and Mystery Spot. This 4-star resort is within close proximity of Pasatiempo Golf Course and Capitola Historical Museum.
Make yourself at home in one of the 156 air-conditioned guestrooms. Cable programming along with video-game consoles are provided for your entertainment. Bathrooms feature shower/tub combinations, designer toiletries, and hair dryers. Conveniences include safes and desks, as well as direct-dial phones with voice mail.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Pamper yourself with a visit to the spa, which offers massages, body treatments, and facials. If you're looking for recreational opportunities, you'll find a health club, an outdoor pool, and a spa tub. Additional amenities include a concierge desk, an arcade/game room, and gift shops/newsstands.
Enjoy a meal at a restaurant, or stay in and take advantage of the resort's room service (during limited hours). Relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge or a poolside bar.
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include a business center, business services, and audiovisual equipment. Event facilities at this resort consist of conference/meeting rooms, small meeting rooms, and a ballroom. Free parking is available onsite.
During the annual Fall Wine Festival, Villa Rosa Ristorante Italiano hosts exclusive dinners paired with offerings from top Okanagan wineries. Luckily, Villa Rosa's Italian feasts aren't just available at these autumn events?the eatery's cooks use Okanagan Valley ingredients in their Italian-inspired dishes year-round.
Garlicky lemon-cream sauce coats tiger prawn appetizers, while marsala wine reductions flavour cuts of Villa Rosa's signature grilled lamb chops. Pasta-wise, cooks toss baby Caribbean lobster with linguini and saut? fusilli with blends of basil pesto and white wine; they even whip up gluten-free versions of every pasta dish. To complement meals, bartenders supply a steady stream of reds and whites sourced from Italy and local wineries.
From the pinto beans plucked from the field to the whole wheat rolled into tortillas, every ingredient at Vivas Organic Mexican Food is organic and free of preservatives. The all-natural feast starts during breakfast, with plates of huevos rancheros and burritos packed with chorizo and cage-free eggs. Later in the day, chefs ladle mango sauce atop tilapia tacos and roast pasilla chiles stuffed with cheese.
Each meal is highly customizable?guests choose the meat that goes into their burritos, tacos, and quesadillas, as well as the type of tortilla they want: flour, whole wheat, spinach, or wrapping paper brought from home. They enjoy these dishes in a dining room that evokes a sunny courtyard, complete with faux shutters and a burbling fountain.
The El Jardin Restaurant story opens more than two decades ago, when the Delgado family first began serving authentic Mexican dishes at its festive, color-soaked restaurant. Today, Delgado family members continue to run the kitchen, folding locally grown produce, fresh seafood, and homemade salsas into dishes that have been lauded by Santa Cruz Good Times. Owner George Delgado's own mosaic artwork adorns the floors of the dining room, where vibrant paintings act as eye candy to accompany house margaritas, enchiladas, fajitas, and specialty dishes. Outdoor heaters warm diners seated on the expansive patio, which sits amidst a garden of plant life and songbirds that croon the lyrics to popular mariachi numbers.
The chefs at Surfrider Cafe don't need to look far for inspiration. Beyond a menu of entrees made from local, sustainably grown ingredients, the restaurant also serves craft beers from its own Santa Cruz microbrewery, Boulder Creek Brewery. Veggies such as panko-breaded artichoke hearts find their way into appetizers, sandwiches, and burgers. Desserts range from housemade brownies to organic peanut-butter chocolate pie. Furthering its commitment to the community, Surfrider Cafe contributed more than $25,000 to local schools and nonprofits from 2011?2013.