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Feb 1, 2009 04:34 PM

Best Calamari

Im always looking for a restaurant bar that has good calamari. Right now my favorite is Mirabelle on Sunset. The breading is not too thick and the meat is always nice and tender. They give big chunks rather than the dinky little over fried ones at most places. The only thing is its $13 which is a lot for just calamari.
Other places Ive tried that were just o-k was Bungalow Club and The Belmont. Belmonts is not that great but if you go for happy hour I believe its $5.

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  1. If you are ever in one of their few locations and craving above average calamari give Maria's Italian Kitchen a go.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ReelMike84

      You know what? I was just about to say that. Maria's gets little love here, and it's certainly no fine-dining destination, but they make INCREDIBLY good fried calamari, especially at the Ventura/Dixie Cyn location in Sherman Oaks.

      While you're up there you need to try Spumoni's calamari -- not fried, it's simmered in red sauce and white wine and is the tenderest calamari I've ever had inside or outside of Italy. On Ventura one block west of Van Nuys Blvd. Once you're there, have gnocchi to round out your meal.

      Spumoni Restaurant
      14533 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

      Maria's Italian Kitchen
      13353 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        I was just at the Maria's in Encino a few weeks ago for a family dinner. We were a party of 6, took close to an hour to get our food after ordering, two of the dishes that came out were not what was ordered, a dish of some veal stew (Special) came out with a ton of over mashed mashed potatoes, and very little veal.

        The only good thing was dessert -homemade tiramisu. That was very good. But not reason to come back. It came out to about $30 a person. For that kinda cash we could have ate better elsewhere.

        1. re: LMelba

          If you notice, though, all I recommended was the calamari.

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            Please don't think I was making an attack on you. I just had a particularly lousy experience at Maria's and didn't want anyone to end up making the same mistake. Like I said, the one item at the table that was good was dessert - I still wouldn't go back because of it. It was my first and last time there. I don't understand how it's been in business for so long. Maybe people go there and make a meal out of just calamari and tiramisu.

    2. Vermont in Los Feliz has a lovely calamari salad at lunch. It's spicy--I think Thai seasonings. And actually nice and light. Perfect with a crisp white wine.....

      1. well this isn't a bar, but the calamari at 2117 on sawtelle is delicious. the batter is very light, and it has a garlic parsley sauce that is so addicting.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Alice

          The best calamari I've had is at Sushi King on Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica. There is also an excellent calamari salad at Buddhas' Belly in West Hollywood. Both of these places cook the calamari to perfection .The sauces are also delicious. They are never over cooked and rubbery . By far the best I've had outside of Greece.

          1. re: delishdonna

            2 very good spots are:

            -Oyster House on Moorpark St. in Studio City, they make a wonderful fried calamari
            -Marmalade Cafe in Sherman Oaks, just as good

            Give them a try,


            1. re: Hypnotic23

              I Would have to disagree with oyster house, every time i go there i feel like i am eating reheated frozen seafood.
              I reaaaaaly enjoy the calamari at La Buca and Belmont ... strangely enough the Arclight cafe has pretty good calamari.

              La Buca
              5210 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

              Belmont Brewing
              25 39th Place, Long Beach, CA 90803

              Arclight Sherman Oaks
              15301 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA

        2. Try Casablance on Lincoln and Rose near MDR. I believe that is their speclalty and have a variety of ways it is prepared

          1. Blue Marlin on Sawtelle... Super tender... very crispy!