Though our menu is steeped in the cooking of France, we can’t help but be influenced by California and the meat and produce that comes from our surrounding region. The menu fluctuates based on what excites us most throughout the seasons, with sections devoted to vegetables and garde manger to celebrate the diversity of French cuisine.
Our curated wine list shares the same philosophy; celebrating the best and most authentic aspects of France and California; including the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains. The roots of our cooking are familiar and comforting, while always striving to evoke those feelings in refreshing and contemporary ways.
Growing up in both France and the US, Chef Owner Guillaume Bienaime was exposed to the conviviality brought on by good food and wine from a young age. He first began his journey as an intern at Marché during his studies at Johnson Wales University. Upon graduating, he was hired on as a sous chef at the popular Menlo Park restaurant. It is there that he developed his cooking repertoire, steadily moving up the ranks to executive chef.
After 7 years, he moved on to open Portola Kitchen; developing the concept and menu from scratch. It was shortly after leaving Portola Kitchen that he discovered the space that would eventually become Zola. Small, intimate and located in the heart of downtown Palo Alto, he couldn’t think of a better spot for a neighborhood gathering place that could hearken to his upbringing and training, while simultaneously filling a void. He opened Zola in fall of 2014.