A good plate of octopus is hard to come by, as turning these mysterious sea creatures into a vibrant salad, savory Carpaccio or tender braise takes a true culinary mastermind. Cooking octopus requires an investment—it takes long and slow hours before it becomes tender and ready to be manipulated, and its timing determines how dry and edible it is. To truly appreciate the art of a good octopus dish, we’ve come up with best places around town to enjoy our eight-tentacled friend. When swimming for options, head to these five haute spots.
8764 Melrose Ave
You don’t want to miss the grilled octopus with lemon, capers and olives at this chic Italian eatery on the corner of Melrose. It’s tucked away and hidden, so don’t accidentally pass it up. Served as a starter, the octopus is tender tangy and cooked to perfection. Paired with the restaurant’s signature Eve’s Cocktail with apple and cinnamon infused vodka, apples and lemon, this dish will surely end your night on a satisfied note.
525 S Flower St.
Two must-order items at this Euro-Asian fusion post well-worth the trek to downtown are the Spanish octopus with clams and chorizo, and the octopus Carpaccio, which are both prepared in two different cooking styles that truly showcase the octopus’ versatility and contrasting flavors. The Spanish octopus is served in a medley of clams and chorizo for a warm appetizer dripping with bright seafood tones and a touch of spice from the chorizo. The octopus Carpaccio, which is served chilled, is marinated in a vibrant mix of juices that bring out its texture and overall creaminess.
176 N Canon Dr.
Wolfgang Puck’s flagship fine dining restaurant in the heart of Beverly Hills features an octopus ceviche with quinoa chips and Espelette pepper. With a basque-Japanese influence, the thinly sliced octopus tentacles combine with a citrus vinaigrette heightened with powdered Espelette pepper.
5955 Melrose Ave.
Octopus is so fresh at this Michelin-starred favorite, waiters can be seen running around with a live creature on a plate. The Farfalle Al Nero Di Seppia Fatte In Casa is served with octopus, Japanese sword squid, Maine lobster, olive oil, basil and tomato.
Fig & Olive
8490 Melrose Place
Executive chef Pascal Lorange serves Octopus A La Gallenga, which is thinly sliced braised octopus with Pimenton lemon dressing and Cobrancosa olive oil.