Zola

4.7
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646 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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French
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.
What 646 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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EM
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We loved our evening at Zola. First time, although we knew the chef from his days at Marche. Overall really nicely done starting with the front of the house, excellent wine list, knowledgable and friendly service and wonderful cooking - what I would describe as French comfort food with a California cuisine nuance here and there. We especially liked the non-traditional somewhat spicy approach to sashimi, the gnocchi of ricotta and the unadulterated style of steak tartare. Looking forward to returning soo.

IV
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

proper place for a good dinner. will come back. good for a company up to 10 people

N
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Celebrating birthdays. Food was good. I’m glad we got an early reservation so it was quieter during our starters. It got very loud after that: hard to talk, hard to hear.

OT
San Francisco
99 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our first visit to Zola, an we wondered why we had not been there before. Beautifully balanced food. My husband had the seafood stew, with scallops, mussels, and calamari, and could not stop raving about it. I had the tomato tart. This was flavorful and beautifully presented. It is always a pleasure to find a serious restaurant that takes as much trouble with its vegetarian dishes as with the other dishes. Yes it is expensive, bu worth it.

TW
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Zola is fantastic! The service is fun and friendly, the food is thoughtful and delicious, the wine list is perfect, and the price is right. My new favorite restaurant on the Peninsula.

WP
San Francisco
34 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food gets better and better here. For the money, best restaurant in Palo Alto!

OT
Detroit
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience

P
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

The food was similar to Bird Dog, around the price range you would expect.
They don't have any cocktails, which was a bit disappointing.
My pain point was with the waiter. I walked into Zola with a reservation. The first greeting I got was a very aggressive "What do you need?" from the waiter in the front. I was a bit taken back... And there was not a single smile from the waiter the whole night. It got better at the end when. I assume the owner, came over to give us the dessert menu...
Probably won't go again, will just go back to Bird Dog or Flea Street instead.

BL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The quality of the food is so superior to anything else I know is the Bay Area that Zola became my go to restaurant for almost every occasion.

OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every dish amazing. Try the tomato tart. You’ll thank me.

H
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Superb food. Vibrant service. Soothing ambiance.

RH
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a very nice dinner. Service was great and the food was very tasty. It was our first visit, we will be back.

DB
San Francisco
81 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always Zola did not disappoint. We chose to eat appetizer size dishes and everything was exquisite. The waiter was very attentive and the food came in a timely fashion. The Kir drinks were very tasty and the wine selection good. A good option for a date, but make reservations well in advance - it’s worth the wait!

R
San Francisco
37 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always delicious food and great service! It was a little louder this time than usual due to a few larger groups, but not objectionably noisy.

C
London
8 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Love it at Zola - we regularly go there for special occasions. We love the food, the wine, the service! It's all terrific and we'll be back soon.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome place for dining! Excellent food! Excellent ambiance!

GF
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We really enjoyed our meal at Zola. First time. celebrating a birthday. The hostess and waiter were very attentive and even gave me a birthday card!
We like to have several appetizers rather than a main course.
The waiter recommended having the Duck Fat Pommes Paillasson with the Smoked local cod.
The Pommes are fabulous and were terrific with the smoked cod. Do not miss those!
The campagne terrine was good and started our French meal off on the right note.
Walter the waiter also recommended having the Ricotta Gnocchi as this is one of their signature dishes.
This did not disappoint.
adding in a beautiful French Syrah St Joseph 2017 (fresh bacon notes) and chocolate mousse with espresso bean crunch on top rounded out a very special meal.
plan on spending a lot on wine.
would visit again. One request is to have soft baguette as well as the crunchy levain being offered as it the crunchy bread isn't always conducive for grabbing all the sauce and hard on the teeth!

EM
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Service was great. The food was good, but could've been better. Bone marrow dish and salmon special were amazing. However, the beef tartare was okay (didn't really taste like much) and halibut in buerre blanc was too salty (too many capers) and the artichoke gave the sauce a strange flavor. I would go back to try other dishes.

FV
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Zola and it’s staff were amazing! Very thoughtful and made our experience very memorable. The food was AMAZING! Highly recommend.

JM
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was amazing. The staff was exceptional and most attentive.

SP
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is spectacular but the service is even better. My wife and I had a wonderful dinner with the best oysters we’ve ever had.

t
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

We had a lovely dinner at Zola the other night. Loved the summer beans with shishito peppers, the duck fat potato cakes and the halibut. Best thing was our waiter, Walter! He suggested a wine that we absolutely loved and was super friendly and fun. It was my birthday but we did not order dessert, so he brought out a small candle and two cookies. Loved it all!

JC
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

After giving this restaurant a few tries, we give up. The whole experience was awful from the moment we walked in the door. The service was amateur hour. The space is cramped so severs stick their rear ends in your face when helping the table next to you. 2/3 of the food was inedible. How hard is it to come up with an edible steak? Duck fat potatoes awful. Salmon special was OK but bland. One restroom so often a wait. I could go on. Very little positive to say.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing! Loved it! Some of the best food I’ve had in Palo alto

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Superb cuisine with great ambiance and service!

OT
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Spectacular food. Enjoyed the appetizers as much as the entrees. Excellent service and atmosphere.

RL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server was amazing - thank you Walter for such an awesome night!

R
San Francisco
38 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and very friendly service. We keep going back regularly.

OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved, loved the food and service. Absolutely delicious

S
Las Vegas
25 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The evening could not have gone any better ! We were with our French neighbors for dinner.... so we could judge their reactions to the appeal of the dishes! We each ordered different dishes , gave small tastes of each to one another and there seemed to be agreement as to met expectations . One of the appetizers was the boeuf tartare, .... light fare, not overly generous in portion size but enough , very tasty, not salty, no quail egg on top but still pleasing to the palate with the dijonnaise and scallion flavors coming through nicely placed on top of small crostini toast .
My friend had the baked chèvre with toasted levain bread and she was waxing poetic over the appetizer!
I then ordered the roasted bone marrow which came very hot and so delicious .... I really wanted more bones !!!
The other entrées included a very generous tomato tart , beautifully served with fresh vegetables , another was Zola’s take on the classic French bœuf Bourgogne which did not disappoint my French friend and lastly my other friend had the country style Pork chop , again a winning dish . All the meal was accompanied by a personal bottle of Decoy Cabernet ( corkage was 40 dollars , a bit steep , but we did not mind ).
All in all the Zola dinner, ambiance and service was delightful and since they say the menu can change from time to time , we know we will return again !!
A real pleasure and as they say in France .... not « adieu » , but «  «  a bientôt ,vraiment « !!!

PA
San Francisco
41 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great kitchen, outstanding staff. Small venue but they are expanding to the next space which will be a great blessing. Casual or special occasion, a great place.

SF
San Francisco
36 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The food at this place is always outstanding. Service is very good, our server is very helpful. The only problem I have is that every time we went there we had to be asked to leave because of the next reservation. I understand it's a small place and is very popular but it still makes you feel rushed.

E
London
43 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Zola continues to serve excellent food with interesting and reasonable wines and excellent service. The only issue is that it's very loud so this is not ideal for quiet discussion. The restaurant is small and dense so it may be difficult to change this, but attention to acoustics could make a difference.

B
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Hadn't been to Zola's in at least a year. It was just a fabulous as it was before. The service is amazing and the food is wonderful!

SJ
Philadelphia
25 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It all starts with the people. The Zola staff is top notch. We were made to feel very welcome when we arrived. The waitstaff is extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and professional.
The food was superb and the wine list was excellent. It was our first time, and we’ll be back. We’re so glad we found this wonderful restaurant so close to home.

TF
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

As usual the food was very good. The atmosphere is great, the noise level is sometimes a little to high, but the staff is great.

J
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had great dinner the pork chop was amazing and everything was perfect..
Thank you

LA
San Francisco
34 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our third time at Zola but it had been awhile. The whole experience was outstanding—the service, the food, the pacing of the evening. The highlights were the beef tartare, the tomato mozzarella with dandelion greens, the beef Bourguignon, the mussels, scallops, calamari dish, and the olive oil cake! Love this place!

MH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had the halibut appetizer which was like a crab cake with the right amount of breading and savory flavoring. We then had Sea Bass for our main course. Again excellent. The French Pinot Noir they recommended went perfectly with both. Can't wait to go back.

SC
1 review
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

awesome dinner - appetizers, main, dessert - all were fantastic! the service was amazing and loved all the recommendations! will definitely go back. totally memorable meal.

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