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Best Calamari in LA

Any place serve calamari particularly better then usual?

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  1. i really like the calamari at saladang song. huge meaty rings of squid with a crispy crust. i would say that it's better than usual.

    the addition of calamari in balcones del peru's ceviche is really good too.

    1. Sorry, I am not too sure of the terminology... when you say calamari, do you mean any squid preperation? Or just those fantastic, crispy fried tasty treats that are the bane of arteries everywhere?

      oh so hoping the latter! :-)

      1. If you're talking about ANY preparation of calamari, hie thee to Spumoni on Ventura and Van Nuys boulevards in Sherman Oaks and get the calamari affogati -- "drowned squid". It's sauteed squid in quite a lot of red sauce with white wine. It is outstanding -- and squid have never been less than perfect.

        1. I have also been looking for amazing calamari that is GRILLED, not fried. I moved to LA about a year ago, and have yet to come across this dish - any suggestions?

          1 Reply
          1. re: lsm

            Ago on Melrose and La Cienega had the most tender grilled calamari I've had in this town. The dish was simple...the seasoned calamari were just drizzled with some fruity olive oil and served with a wedge of lemon on a playful bed of frisee. It wasn't on their standard dinner menu, but was featured as a special the night I went.

          2. Oh I'm talking about the heart stopping kind. None better!

            1. Caffe Gazelle in Belmont Shore has a fantastic side order of sauteed calamari. Very fresh and simple white wine & herb prep but oh so delicious.

              For good and cheap fried calamari, try Big Nick's in San Pedro. They are Greek-owned and do a great job of this dish but be sure to eat it there (no delivery or takeout) so it stays as crisp as possible.

              1. I agree with Das Ubergeek for nonfried Calamari go to Spumoni for fried Calamari go to Mazzarino's, delicious!

                1. The fried calamari I had at Romano's Macaroni Grill was (surprisingly) perfect; loads of tentacles, all nicely crisp and tender. Served with good dipping sauces.

                  1. My favorite fried squiddies are actually at Asian Noodles, a Filipino restaurant in Chinatown (Spring & Cesar Chavez). Not only is the fried batter awesome, but what makes it killer is the sauce...kind of like a sweet vinegar-chili-garlic thing. And the portions are HUGE.

                    1. For fried calamari, I love the Maria's (mods: local LA only) chain. The rest of the food is just "eh", but the fried calamari is faaaaaaaaaaaantastic.

                      1. Das Ubergeek, with calamari being my #1 appetizer around 4-6 months back from a suggestion on this board I went to Maria's, I was told they had the tentacles and all. Long story short, they stopped including the tentacles for over a year now and I wasn't thrilled with their version at all, give Mazzarino's a shot-delicious!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Hypnotic23

                          What!! That can't be! I haven't been in a while but I would have noticed a disturbing paucity of tentacles. Which one told you that? And where are all the extra tentacles going?

                        2. I really enjoy the calamari at Tangier, on Hillhurst in Los Feliz. I think they say it's done in a tempura batter. Anyway, it's nicely done, good assortment of rings and tentacles, and a couple of good dipping sauces. Actually, I'm generally pleasantly surprised when I eat at Tangier.

                          1. This came from the managers mouth who asked the cook at the Sherman Oaks location on Ventura Blvd.

                            1. I love the calamari at the Wild Hare in Highland Park. Nice and crunchy with a little heat in the batter. And lots of tentacles. Goes good with the Craftsman Beer on tap. YUM

                              1. Toscana on San Vicente has a great calamari dish swimming in a garlicky wine/tomatoe sauce. My calamari fave.

                                1. Nick & Stef's in downtown LA. Great dipping sauce.

                                  1. Primitivo Wine Bistro in Venice has great calamari too...