Exploding with great flavor!. I was pretty impressed with my ginger/garlic/chili/chicken/prawns meal. It was one of the most flavorful and pretty dishes I've had in a while, and it left me completely full. I like all the fresh veggies and other ingredients. Even the garnishes are fresh. I tried the tofu fries appetizer. Not bad, but definitely not 'yum' like the other stuff I tried. My waitress was quick and all smiles. Will go back again!
Consistent quality, always friendly.
My wife and I like going to Zao on a regular basis. After 30+ visits, we've never had a bad experience. Wait staff remember us, which makes it even more pleasant to return.
The food is great, too. We have our favorite dishes but we try new things once in a while. No disappointments yet.
I love the specialty teas in the iron pots. Pretty expensive, but really tasty.
Super Yummy and Affordable.
I can't believe the mediocre ratings on this place! The food is ten times better than PF Changs! (Although Zao is Asian fusion so I don't know if it's a reasonable comparison.) I was so excited when we moved here and found Zao because this was one of my favorite places to eat in Palo Alto (I believe there are 3-4 locations?) And the prices are very reasonable- about $10-15 per person depending on if you order extras or just an entree. Although if two people share an entree and an appetizer it would end up being more like $8 per person. (We often get food to go so for two of us to eat really well it's around 20-25 bucks.)
They have a unique selection of dishes and they use lots of fresh veggies and tasty sauces. One of my favorite dishes is the chicken in lemongrass coconut broth soup.You can request it with seared tofu instead. It's rich and creamy and spicy and very satisfying on a cold day. The other BEST dish is not even on the menu- it's the Kung Pao Chicken but we always get it with the fat noodles (instead of rice as is shown on the menu) and it's fantastic- I HIGHLY recommend it.
The veggie summer rolls are another favorite- very light and fresh with a tasty sauce. They use a bit of fresh mint which is really yummy.
Don't let the other reviewers dissuade you- Zao is awesome! Try it and make up your own mind.
Great atmosphere. My boyfriend and i visit Zao regualrly. Usually rushing off to catch a show or go to an event in portland we stop in at Zao. We can always count on excellent service and food. Our favorite dish would have to be Kung Pao chicken, with shanghi noodles, its very spicy and fills you right up. The portions are large and colorful, making your experiance extra special, especially on a sunny day sitting outside , enjoying the sites and sounds of Bridge port village. We actually prefer Zao over PF changs across the way, the dark and crowded atmosphere is much to overwhelming. Pricing is very reasonable and they have a large menu.
The sights, sounds and smells of fast-paced Asian cuisine draw customers to this popular bistro..
With rich yellow walls and a bright red floor, this restaurant itself is as colorful as the food it serves. Best known for signature items like spicy vegetable and black bean tofu stir fried with noodles, chefs draw inspiration from Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese and Thai cuisine. Distinctive sauces in exotic flavors, including ginger-garlic-chili, soy-lime and coconut-chili-lemongrass, spice up fresh vegetable and meat noodle dishes. Non-noodle items, including salads and entrees with rice, are also available.
Rude Server. I went to Zao last night for dinner. Everything was great until a server (not ours) came over to us and asked if we could leave so he could "turn" his table. Apparently we had been sitting there too long after we paid our bill, and since this was the way he made his money, and he was broke, he asked if we would go. Now, keep in mind the restaurant had just started to fill up, there were a couple empty tables, and no wait yet. He did tell us if we sat at their bar he'd get us a drink, but at that point we were too embarrassed to stay. Having worked as a server for 6 years, I understand the frustration of having a table who just sits there. Happened to me a hundred times, but never would I have asked one of my customers to leave so I could make more money. It's tacky, rude and bad for business. I used to love this place, but I will never go back.
Good Place for a quick lunch. Good place for a not too expensive lunch. My soba seemed unusually thick, but tastey all the same. I was somewhat surprised that a place that calls itself a noodle bar didn't have a wider range of noodle types (but i could just be picky) The atmosphere was nice and the service was adequate. I also tried one of the ginger drinks (can't remember if mine was the lemonade or the orange one, but tried both)...too much ginger, be prepared, you do need to have a love of ginger. Anyway, good place for a quick lunch.