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Who has the Best CALAMARI?

waxfondler Jun 15, 2009 09:10 PM

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. Das Ubergeek RE: waxfondler Jun 15, 2009 09:21 PM

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

    3 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek
      Bob Brooks RE: Das Ubergeek Jun 16, 2009 01:27 PM

      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
        Das Ubergeek RE: Bob Brooks Jun 16, 2009 01:46 PM

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

        1. re: Das Ubergeek
          ozhead RE: Das Ubergeek Jun 16, 2009 02:53 PM

          Calimari don't have flukes. Whales have flukes.

    2. Thi N. RE: waxfondler Jun 15, 2009 09:55 PM

      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.
        waxfondler RE: Thi N. Jun 15, 2009 10:20 PM

        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
          Thi N. RE: waxfondler Jun 15, 2009 10:35 PM

          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. o
        omakase RE: waxfondler Jun 15, 2009 10:09 PM

        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. perk RE: waxfondler Jun 15, 2009 10:18 PM

          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. j
            jdwdeville RE: waxfondler Jun 16, 2009 09:21 AM

            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. n
              noahbites RE: waxfondler Jun 16, 2009 11:07 AM

              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. Hughlipton RE: waxfondler Jun 16, 2009 12:21 PM

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

                1. 1000steps RE: waxfondler Jun 16, 2009 02:56 PM

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

                  1. ipsedixit RE: waxfondler Jun 16, 2009 03:08 PM

                    Malbec has a very nice fritto misto app.


                    1. d
                      DianaTakesABite RE: waxfondler Jun 16, 2009 03:34 PM

                      I think Angeli Caffe on Melrose does a good calamari.

                      Angeli Caffe
                      7274 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046

                      1. j
                        Jwsel RE: waxfondler Jun 17, 2009 09:39 AM

                        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. t
                          trimtab RE: waxfondler Jun 17, 2009 05:44 PM

                          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. r
                            revets2 RE: waxfondler Jul 1, 2009 02:13 PM

                            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. bgazindad RE: waxfondler Jul 2, 2009 09:22 AM

                              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. DeePocketChopra RE: waxfondler Jul 2, 2009 12:36 PM

                                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. estnyboer RE: waxfondler Jul 3, 2009 08:35 PM

                                  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. Foodandwine RE: waxfondler Jul 3, 2009 09:53 PM

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

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

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