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East Bay Calamaretti Fritti?

I've been craving calamaretti fritti (fried calamari), and live in Berkeley. What's the best place to go? I'd prefer not to drive across the bridge.


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  1. Try Cugini, Albany for fried squid. Calamaretti is a pasta.
    Editted apology.
    Here is a video on making "little ears" with calamaretti, squid.

    Cugini Restaurant
    1556 Solano Ave, Albany, CA

    3 Replies
    1. re: wolfe

      What's good at Cugini these days? No reports in two years and few ever.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Nothing is too special there IMO, but it's okay for their pizzas, margherita and/or spicy sausage for me. Though their crust could stand to be crispier. I tend to have them bake it an extra few minutes.

        I am not a fan of their pastas, but they do serve several big half pound burgers if you are hungry. Comes with fries and I believe it's about $10. They use a cheaper seseme seeded bun though if I remember correctly.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          I thought I read about the calamari here but I can't find it. I had the antipasto and calamari in the last 6 weeks and enjoyed both. Well cooked, non greasy squid. My daughter had the gnocchi with pesto and we both found them fine.

      2. I'm not sure I've tried it yet at Chai Thai, but the food there is generally identical to what the chef used to cook at Thai House Express, so it ought to be good.

        Chai Thai Noodles
        545 B International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

        1 Reply
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Chai Thai has the most delicious calamari thus so far around the bay, apparently the chef that used to cook at Thai House Express is now cooking at Chai Thai so that would explain the reason why it's identical.

        2. I've always enjoyed the fritto misto at Postino in Lafayette. Also if you ever have drinks on the terrace at the Paragon bar at the Claremont, they have a pretty good calamari fritti as well.

          1. I have not been there in some time, but Il Pescatore at Jack London Square did a pretty decent Calamari Fritti.

            Il Pescatore Restaurant
            57 Jack London Sq, Oakland, CA 94601

            1. Townhouse has an excellent straightforward American version, with a very light cornmeal batter, almost just a dusting. Good American food in general, somewhat upscaled. I only dislike the burger, which always tastes funny to me. Possibly the cut of meat they are using- I assume they grind their own.

              Townhouse Bar & Grill
              5862 Doyle Street, Emeryville, CA 94608

              1 Reply
              1. re: twocents

                The Salt & Pepper Calamari at Vanessa's Bistro on Solano is delicious. It is an appetizer-sized portion.

              2. OK, so this is probably not the preparation you have in mind, but... I just had the fried calamari salad at Cafe 15. O M G ! ! !

                Wonderfully piquant, tangy dressing, very crisp calamari that were tender and moist inside. Didn't try to deconstruct the dish to figure out what was up with the calamari batter, but it came out crunchy, rich, almost-fried-clam-like flavorful, all atop a tasty bed of mixed greens and shredded cabbage. Buried beneath all that was a substantial slice of grilled bread. Absolutely wonderful.

                My first taste of Cafe 15, so I'm not calling them out -- yet. But I will be heading back that way soon.

                1 Reply
                1. re: BernalKC

                  That salad at Cafe 15 sounds delicious.Though not a destination restaurant Spettro's fried calamari w/marinara appetizer is tasty.Paired with the baked potato gnocchi with cream and parmesan cheese sauce appetizer and one of their salads makes for a tasty inexpensive meal.The pan seared coconut lime mussels are also great but not with the mentioned mix.Would love to find a delicate delicious fritto misto.Marzano's is nice that it changes with seasonal vegetables,but heavy.Caffe Verbena's is nice with the calamari and limone fritto and addition of rock shrimp with whole grain mustard aioli.

                  3355 Lakeshore Ave, Oakland, CA 94610