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Comme Ca’s charred calamari is as easy as it is edgy

Comme Ça’s calamari is not what you’re used to.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

The Details

Comme Ça
Cosmopolitan, 698-7910.
Monday-Thursday, 5:30-11 p.m.; Friday-Sunday, noon-11 p.m.

Do not fear the squid. The charred calamari served at Comme Ça surprises some customers who may be expecting crispy little rings of squid. “Traditional calamari wouldn’t really fit the scheme of things around here,” chef Brian Howard says. “We want to be a cutting-edge brasserie, and this dish is kinda edgy. But it’s a new dish and it’s very popular already. It’s not fried; it’s completely tender. It has a great balance of flavors, and it’s definitely perfect for sharing.” It’s also easy to make at home … if you dare.

Charred Calamari

(serves two)


1 large or 2 small calamari (whole squid)

1 Spanish yellow onion, diced small

5 cloves fresh garlic, diced small

1 clove fresh garlic, peeled and crushed

3 Roma tomatoes, diced small

½ cup olive or grape seed oil

1 bell pepper, diced small

1 bay leaf

2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

¼ cup capers, rinsed

1 lemon, cut in half

2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 tbsp. butter

salt and pepper

Method: To clean whole squid, remove beak (located under tentacles at the mouth) and gently remove ink sack and cartilage from inside squid.

To make sofrito, add oil, onion, garlic, bell pepper, tomato and bay leaf to pot on low to medium heat and allow to cook for 30 minutes or until everything is fully cooked and tender. Season to taste with salt, pepper and red wine vinegar. In a separate pan, fry capers with a bit of butter until they pop open. Set aside on paper towel.

Season squid with salt and pepper and heat another skillet with 2 tablespoons oil. When pan begins to smoke, add squid and char on one side. Flip over and add butter, thyme leaves and crushed piece of garlic. Baste squid with butter and herbs as it cooks for 2-3 minutes. To serve, plate squid, squeeze fresh lemon juice over it and pour warm sofrito and fried capers over top.

Tags: Dining
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