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Looking for the best Seattle (fried) calamari

Just moved back to Seattle from the Southeast, and am looking for the quintessential fried calamari.

In my other hometown (Durham, NC), a Greek restaurant served calamari in an extremely light, non-greasy, subtle-but-slightly-nutty batter, and made very sure to serve it FAST to your table. The squid rings were fork-tender at first, only firming up to chewy halfway through the (enormous!) plate - if I was eating alone. Otherwise, they were gone well before any hint of chewy-ness set in. For a dip, I either got a tremendously delicious tzatziki, or smuggled in a harissa aoli from one of the restaurants down the block (shameless, I know, but worth the cloak-and-dagger).

This was by far the very best calamari I've ever had the pleasure of even hearing about, and now I'm ruined, dreaming about the glorious days of light, golden cephalopod rings.

So, chowhounds - can anything in Seattle compare?

~evergreengirl

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  1. This summer I made it out to the Greek Festival at St. Demetrios Church. One of the more popular booths there had good calimari. I do not remember the name of the booth, however.

    If anybody knows the name of the company/restaurant that owned this booth, I would definitely suggest it as a place to try.

    1. This is going down a different path, but Shanghai Garden makes a good fried squid dish. Lightly battered fried squid pieces tossed with white pepper, green onions, garlic and jalapenos (?) served with a similar soy dipping sauce and cilantro on the side.

      My little girls fav... actually she's now 17. Dang I'm getting old! lol.

      1. Yanni's Greek Restaurant on Greenwood Ave. serves just what you're describing. Also, the deep-fried calamari at Twist in Belltown has a unique curry-spiced crust on their calamari.

        1 Reply
        1. re: staffstuff

          Oooh, they both sound wonderful. I'll have to try Yanni's.

        2. Actually, I can't think of a place that I've been, and that serves fried calamari, that hasn't been good. We just had it at La Taverna and it was yummy. We love it at Brasa. Yanni's is a very generous portion, good but little greasier.

          1. Out of all of the places that I've eaten it, I'm most partial to Nell's version.

            2 Replies
            1. re: BallardFoodie

              Heads-up...Nell's version is not deep-fried...it's sauteed without a coating in herbs...nothing interesting texture-wise and rather bland IMO.

              1. re: staffstuff

                It's been a while since we've been there (17 month old tends to do that to you) and it sounds like they've changed it. Too bad. I always thought they had the best aioli. Perhaps my mind is reminiscing back to Saleh's.