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Who has the Best CALAMARI?

I love some fried calamari and haven't really found a good spot in LA for this. I've only tried the calamari at Maggianos at the Groove. So where should i go?

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  1. Maria's Italian Kitchen. But tread lightly on the rest of the menu.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      Hey, D.U.

      Based on one of your earlier posts I went to Maria's recently In Sherman Oaks. The calamari was not very good. Rings only, no heads. Completely unseasoned and cooked to a very pale shade of beige. I'm sure that was not what you experienced.

      1. re: Bob Brooks

        Not at all... they've always been crispy and tender. I hope it was just a fluke!

        1. re: Das Ubergeek

          Calimari don't have flukes. Whales have flukes.

    2. Uh... the Peruvians do it better in LA, as far as I can tell. Excellent calamari platter at Mario's, and Puro Sabor is the best damn fried squid in the state, maybe.

      The peruvian-ness is subtle.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Thi N.

        Damn i've eaten at Puro Sabor many times and didnt even realize they had fried squid! Thanks for the heads up. Im gonna have to go tomorrow. Thanks

        1. re: waxfondler

          Mario's has an all-calamari plate.

          I can't remember of Puro Sabor does an all-calamari plate - but it's definitely the major component of the Mountain Which Is Jalea de Mariscos.

      2. I love the fried calamari at Far Niente and at Marino's.

        Far Niente
        204 (and a half) N. Brand Blvd.

        6001 Melrose Ave.

        1. This might be a bit different from what you had in mind, but Vermont in Los Feliz has a wonderful fried calamari salad.....with very nice spicy Asian flavors.

          1. Primativo in Venice has an amazing calamari app that manages to have slight chew, melting tenderness, and crunchy coating all at the same time. a friend i took there for lunch exclaimed on first bite "Damn! now this didn't come off a Sysco truck!"

            1. Domenico does a good, interesting version that's fried calamari strips with fried lemon in a romesco sauce.

              Domenico Ristorante
              1637 Silver Lake Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026

              1. Oliva on Van Nuys just North of Ventura on the west side of the street.

                1. Scott's Seafood in Costa Mesa has good food but incredible Calamari.

                    1. I think Angeli Caffe on Melrose does a good calamari.

                      Angeli Caffe
                      7274 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046

                      1. I hate to admit it, but I really like Cheesecake Factory's fried calamari. It comes with a great garlic dipping sauce, as well as cocktail sauce.

                        Another surprise entry is Springbok Bar & Grill in Van Nuys. It is also served with a garlic mayonnaise.

                        1. At the risk of seeming way too provincial, the calamari at Dish in La Canada is terrific. Lightly battered, nicely spiced and perfectly fried. Best of all, it's half price during happy hour (3-6) making it at great bargain.

                          1. BENLEY VIETNAMESE KITCHEN - vietnamese fusion, sometimes calamari, sometimes cuttlefish. the seasoning and the very light batter makes it so good, we find ourselves ordering a second batch!

                            8191 E Wardlow Rd
                            Long Beach, CA 90808
                            (562) 596-8130

                            1. I like Captain Kidds in Redondo Beach. The batter is light and the squid is tender. The market/restaurant is near the Redondo Beach pier.

                              1. Fabiolus on Sunset Blvd, east of Vine, calamari-topped salad or appetizer.
                                F'n delicious with marinara sauce, the real way to eat it.

                                1. Guido's on Santa Monica near Brockton, a place that I can't recommend otherwise, has great calamari. I have no idea why but they fry it perfectly and serve it with a nice sauce.

                                  This joint also has one of the most aMAZING collection of celebrity photos tucked away in the hallway on the way to the bathroom. This is not some b.s. collection - these photos were all taken at the restaurant with the former owner who disappeared years ago under shady circumstances. This place was clearly HOPPING in the 70s and early 80s. I'm talking Ahnold, Chris Evert, Linda Carter, Michael Jackson (with OJ's kids!!!). Seriously, it's mind-numbing.

                                  Go now because it won't be there forever. Make it an appetizer/drink stop before your real dinner at Il Grano or Juquila or whatever you like in the neighborhood. Order a drink and calamari. Browse the photos while you're waiting for your calamari to come out, down your fried goods, then get out of there before you're tempted to spend way too much on mediocre Italian food. Capiche?

                                  Guido's Restaurant
                                  11980 Santa Monica Blvd., West Los Angeles, CA 90025

                                  1. I actually like the rendition at Alejos I find it hard to beat..

                                    Alejo Presto Trattoria
                                    4002 Lincoln Blvd, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292