Best Crispy Fried Squid

Thai Square
3217 Columbia Pike, Arlington; (703) 685-7040
Thai Square’s crispy fried squid puts traditional Mediterranean-style calamari to shame. Owner Sunthorn Rojural didn’t import this dish from his native Thailand. It was, instead, created right in his kitchen 10 years ago. The squid, cut into bite-sized pieces, is dipped in flour and deep-fried, then coated in black soy sauce and quickly stir-fried with garlic, fish sauce, and sugar. The dish is topped with fried basil leaves and red chili peppers and served with white rice. It’s the tastiest cephalopod you’ll ever eat, and other chefs know it. Some have even tried to duplicate it—and failed to match the unique combination of flavors found in Thai Square’s dish. Yes, I’m looking at you, Bangkok 54.

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