Zola offers seasonal French cooking in an intimate and handsomely renovated space. We feature an array of French and California wines, as well as the best and closest sourced meat and produce of the season. Although our kitchen is steeped in the cooking of France, we are also thoughtful of where we are, and heavily influenced by the sensibilities of California. We couldn’t be happier to be serving this diverse community and are excited to share our excitement about food and wine with you.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
French, Californian, American
Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm; Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:30pm
$31 to $50
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Public parking lot is located across the street under City Hall. Street parking is also available.
Caltrain, Palo Alto Station.
Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Wine
Zola Ratings and Reviews
Staff and service are good, food is somewhat below expectation from the price stand point of view, menu offers what it should, but the dishes doesn't really feel like totally French to me, not that it's bad but, somewhat it's fusion variation, though the restaurant doesn't promise that it's a traditional French, but the taste just feel like some other new American dish, feels like some French specialty element ingredients were missing. Not so bad for food, but pricey for what it presents.
Neighbors to my dinner was delicious. I organized the short ribs were very tender and wonderful. My partners dinner the steak was only mediocre.
Waitress was fairly confident but not friendly and hurried us oftenHouse, and she was not warm and friendly, so it was not a good relaxed experience
We have been to Zola several times, this time with a family group and between Christmas and New Year when it wasn't so crowded. The food was uniformly excellent. The salmon rillette has changed completely, but is even better than before - I'd go back just for that. We had a wide range of dishes and everyone was very positive. The service was excellent, supportive of special requests, and generally pleasant. Unusual and interesting wine list. The cost is mid-price and for the quality of the food, an excellent value.
When I made the reservation for a special fixed price Christmas Eve dinner, Open Table indicated the menu would be posted on the Zola website. The menu was never posted and after requests by phone, I eventually received the menu by email only the day before the dinner. After reading the many positive reviews, my expectations for quality of the food were very high. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed. The food was mediocre at best.
Not impressive. The drinks were not cold (kir Royal) and the drink selection was limited (beer and wine only). The food was good but not what we expected. The gnocchi sauce was literally just melted butter and olive oil mix. Very oily and slightly odd.
The small but tidy restaurant did not disappoint. The service was smooth and flowing, the food was amazing and the cost well worth it. The pork tenderloin, the flounder, the new York strip steak and the appetizers were beautifully plated and combined with seasonal vegetables and tasty sauces.
This would be a great place for date night as they have five kinds of sparkling wine drinks to starrt off the meal. A very impressive wine list as well.
It should rate a 4.5 but the management is to blame for the lower rating.
The Sun choke and gnocchi and little gem salad were excellent. Curried cauliflower and Brussells sprouts were pretty good.
Beef bourguignon lacked sauce/gravy but was otherwise quite delicious. Salmon and shrimp had a teentsy portion of salmon and two shrimp! Really, you put only two shrimp in half an entree?
First glass of wine was an acceptable, tho by no means generous, amount. Second pour was barely half the first.
These obvious tactics at reducing overhead, significantly detracted from the genuinely well made dinner.
The price wasn't bad, for Palo Alto. Dinner for four: three appetizers and two sides and four entrees and three deserts and seven glasses of wine was $290 and with tip $350.
Had the portions and pours been reasonable, I would give it a 4.5 or 4.6.
Come on Zola, you can do more.
Other reviewers have criticized the too tightly packed tables causing lack of privacy. We did not have that experience. Very sufficient room between tables and our conversations were not influenced or limited by our neighbors.
We very much enjoyed our dinner at Zola this weekend. We split a number of small plates and a main, and enjoyed everything. Service was friendly and attentive without being intrusive. It’s not a cheap bite, but I thought the value for the quality of meal we had was really pretty good.
ZOLA resembles a very good hole-in-the-wall Parisian little restaurant.
The place was full, but our reservation was honored right away, it seems to be a popular restaurant in Palo Alto because on a Wednesday night all the tables were taken well into the night.
The quality of the food, the atmosphere, the setup might make you think you're somewhere around Rue Cler, not Bryant Street in Palo Alto :)
My wife ordered the steak, which was very good. I got 3 appetizers: chicken liver mousse, endive salad, Toasted Bone Marrow all done to perfection, actually the bone marrow was the best I ever had.
Wonderful little place, hopefully it will not disappear nor degrade soon.
We recently spent a couple of weeks in the Cote d'Azur and Alpes Maritimes and came here expecting to get a reminder of authentic French cuisine, but with tempered expectations (you know, you have to be realistic about these things). The menu here is intended to be more creative than mainlining authentic French, and they captured most of what we think of as important to the cuisine while adding the features of modern California cooking. Nicely done.
Decided to have some peace and quiet away from trick or treaters but only to find ourselves sandwiched by two tables. The seating is just too intrusive. There is no privacy. We really don’t want to hear other folks private conversations. Thankfully our waitress was friendly and attentive. The food and wine were on point. However, we won’t be going back for dining for two due to the claustrophobic seating.
Quite a small cozy restaurant with a few too many tables to have a private dining experience. It was date night with my wife and we were placed inbetween another two couples on a date. The tables were so close that it ruled out any chance of privacy.
The service was great and we were attended to very quickly. No complaints.
We started with the Gnocchi, it was a tad overdone and salty. But overall, not too bad.
For the mains we had the daily special of Lamb steaks on beans. This was a very underwhelming dish with very little flavor. Extremely dissapointing.
We also had a side of a cauliflower flan with raisins which was quite nice.
For desert we had the chocolate mousse and ginger cake. Both were nice but nothing to write home about.
Zola has a lot of potential as a cozy gem but the food just doesnt deliver. The quality is what you would expect from an average cafe serving brunch, not a well rated restaurant. And at the prices being charged, it was quite underwhelming.
Decor and ambiance are nice. The space is noisy, despite the sound absorbing panels on the walls. If you're sensitive to noise, beware.
Food was very good, with an excellent menu. It was very easy to select dishes for each component of the meal, with multiple appealing choices for everyone.
We had gluten intolerant people in the group, and we were pleased to learn that virtually everything on the menu could be prepared gluten free.
The wine list is decent, mostly obscure choices from France and California, at California-standard obscene prices, but overall easy to find a good match for the food. At $35 corkage fee, you'll fare no better bringing your own. The wines we selected were good.
We were there between 8:30 and 11 pm. Nice to have a restaurant that's open this late in Palo Alto.
Our first time with friends. Nice local ambience. Waiter not to knowledgeable on food preparations. We ordered Foie Gras paired with 2010 La Tour Blanche Sauternes (limited selection of Sauternes no Yquem), then tartare de Boeuf, Squash/corn, Terrine De Campagne (pate), Flounder PorkChop, Scallops, Crème Carmel meal paired with bottle Burg Chard. Food well prepared.
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