Wow, I liked this place.
Zola is what I would call “small french”. It’s not quite brasserie food, because brasserie means to me a lot of the hoary items such as cassoulet and escargot and frite.
This place feels french-french not cal-french in a love of butter and shallots.
We avoided the “mains” ( as we often do ) and ate a “brassica” dish, a mushroom gnocci, a tomato dish, and a cold trout thing from the garde-manger.
Service was pleasant - when they had miscalculated the quantity of a special, the waiter still brought us a single scallop almost as an amuse. Tables are WAY too close, in that rather modern way. Reviews claim the place is too loud, but they’ve put some baffles in.
Each dish was a bit oily, dripping with butter, overly rich, probably overly salted… but good ( when you’re in the mood for that kind of thing ).
The place is small but seems to have tables available, and even in palo alto, the price is “reasonable” ( I think we paid $60/pp out the door with 1.5 glasses of very good wine each — now, we didn’t have even a single entree, so maybe it was “palo alto reasonable” — ie, less unreasonable ).
I remember others’ reports was favorable on the place, too.