Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.12mi
  2. Distance: 0.15mi
  3. Distance: 0.20mi
  4. Distance: 0.22mi
  1. Distance: 0.12mi
  2. Distance: 0.15mi
  3. Distance: 0.20mi
  4. Distance: 0.22mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.12mi
  2. Distance: 0.15mi
  3. Distance: 0.20mi
  4. Distance: 0.22mi
  1. Distance: 0.12mi
  2. Distance: 0.15mi
  3. Distance: 0.20mi
  4. Distance: 0.22mi

About Zola

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.

565 Bryant Street
Palo Alto, CA 94301
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
French, Californian, American

Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm; Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:30pm

Cross Street:
Hamilton

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(650) 521-0651

Website:
http://zolapa.com/

Parking Details:
Public parking lot is located across the street under City Hall. Street parking is also available.

Public Transit:
Caltrain, Palo Alto Station.

Executive Chef:
Guillaume Bienaime

Additional:
Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Wine

Specials

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Specials

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Details

Thank you for choosing Zola for this occasion. We are excited to be featuring a special prix fixe menu which will be available shortly.

Zola Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.5

ambience

4.2

value

4.0

Noise

Moderate

90% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (31)
Fit for Foodies (27)
Special Occasion (18)
See All
Neighborhood Gem (16)
Good for Birthdays (15)
Good for Anniversaries (14)
Authentic (13)
Romantic (13)
Creative Cuisine (12)
Worth the Drive (12)
Cozy (10)
Notable Wine List (8)
Seasonal (8)
Good Vegetarian Options (8)
Local Ingredients (7)
Business Meals (5)
Quiet Conversation (5)
Casual (5)
Comfort Food (4)
Healthy (4)
Pre/post Theatre (4)
Fun (2)
Good for Groups (2)
Organic (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Disabled Access (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Hot Spot (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Sort by
S
409 reviews
Loading Reviews ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined 6 days ago

Delicious food in a cozy atmosphere

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 12, 2018

We had a really magnificent meal at Zola. The service was friendly and accommodating, the atmosphere was nice and the food was incredible.

Tags: Good for a Date, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 31, 2017

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.

Tags: Casual, Business Meals, Cozy, Good for a Date, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service5
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 31, 2017

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

Tags: Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service3
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 28, 2017

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.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Worth the Drive, Comfort Food, Seasonal, Notable Wine List, Cozy, Good for a Date, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 25, 2017

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.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience3
service3
value1

vip
 (Seattle)·Dined on December 24, 2017

Small intimate setting, tastes that standout out and remind me of France with great service

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Pinehurst)·Dined on December 24, 2017

Very creative well thought out menu. Guillaume, the Chef/owner is exceptional. A great meal in Palo Alto!

Tags: Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 20, 2017

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.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Denver)·Dined on December 20, 2017

Fabulous french food and great service—but corkage fee of $35 is high for the area and was a disappointment given we also bought an additional $100 bottle as well as dessert wine ...normally places will waive corkage fee if you buy a bottle....

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 14, 2017

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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 10, 2017

Great service & good good

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 8, 2017

Food and service was excellent. As Zola filled up with more patrons the noise level increased. Great place for special occasions.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 6, 2017

Outstanding atmosphere, service, authentic very good French food, delicious interesting appetizers, great wines and informed waitperson to help, delicious desserts!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries, Fun, Good for a Date, Romantic, Authentic, Cozy, Good for Birthdays, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 3, 2017

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.

Tags: Casual, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 1, 2017

Our recent meal at Zola was incredible. Everything was delicious. Our server, Walter, did a great job and was so welcoming and helpful. This was truly one of the best meals we’ve ever had.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 1, 2017

Awesome funny waiter brought out additional dishes for us to try, which were complimentary

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 1, 2017

An unexpected treat. Wonderful French food with little pretense. Will definitely be back.

Tags: Good for a Date, Cozy, Worth the Drive, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre, Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 29, 2017

Awesome date night.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 23, 2017

Food was good, but their ambient is ridiculous and too small, not private at all. Too pricey overall.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience1
service2
value1

vip
 (Montreal)·Dined on November 23, 2017

One of the better French bistros on the Peninsula. Good service and ambiance. Small portions for the price.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value2

 
·Dined on November 19, 2017

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.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Seasonal, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 12, 2017

Not as good as we thought it would be ! Too much oil in the cauliflower flan and New York steak well done instead of rare ! Disappointed .
Service was really nice and efficient.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Seasonal
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 12, 2017

Consistently high quality, tasty food with great service and a warm ambience. Top choice in Palo Alto...

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 10, 2017

We had a great experience. Spiced pear wine was great. We ordered mostly from the vegetarian options available (button mushrooms, cauliflower, gnocchi, creme fraiche)and loved them all. Service was quite impressive too.

Tags: Good for a Date, Comfort Food, Notable Wine List, Worth the Drive, Good Vegetarian Options
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 9, 2017

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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Tasting Menu, Cozy, Creative Cuisine
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 5, 2017

Zola delivered an excellent version of classic French Bistro cooking. Everything was fresh, flavorful, and well-presented. We had a great time and will be back often.

Tags: Seasonal, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 5, 2017

Great food and charming staff. Fabulous wine list!

Tags: Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Worth the Drive, Cozy, Healthy, Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Good for a Date, Casual, Organic, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Seasonal, Disabled Access, Quiet Conversation, Notable Wine List, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 4, 2017

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.

Tags: Comfort Food, Good for Birthdays, Authentic, Good for Anniversaries, Cozy, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 1, 2017

You cannot do better than Zola! Food is amazing, fresh, creative... service is incredible. Always great.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 1, 2017

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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience1
service5
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 28, 2017

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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 26, 2017

Great creative cooking, rich but delicious food. The wine "pour" was VERY small, second glass was more on par with a normal size pour. Service was very friendly and they treated me very "special" for my birthday!!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 25, 2017

Kept reminding us they needed to turn their tables. Staff had very little knowledge of the menu. Steak was worse than average- ordered medium to the rare- got dry and grizzly. Bet Sise Sauce was gloppy.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 14, 2017

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.

Tags: Good for Groups, Good Vegetarian Options, Gluten Free Options, Hot Spot, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service4
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 14, 2017

Always an awesome dinner and experience - highly recommend!

Tags: Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 11, 2017

Dad’s birthday.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 7, 2017

Overall the food and service were good
I have the beet salad and it was nothing special. Our main courses of shorts ribs and chicken were good but not exceptional.
The crime caramel was very good!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 6, 2017

Yummy dishes perfectly seasoned. Good wine list. Wine prices a bit high.

Tags: Authentic, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 6, 2017

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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service3
value4

Report this review as inappropriate?

If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.