Here at Stick a Fork In It, we're used to passing along recommendations, but we're all about following up on a good tip, too.
Recently, a friend–who goes by the luchador-like name “El Buche” (The Stomach) for his never-ending appetite–told us about the House Special Squid with butter sauce at Royal Capital Seafood Restaurant in Westminster. Another Weekling has already pined over the Thai-style scallops from their fresh fish menu, but Buche was right and now we're hooked on another of their fantastic seafood dishes.
This Chinese spot on the edge of Little Saigon is legendary for its 200+ item menu, but only few bear the title “House Special.” Though you can order the dish with shrimp or lobster (fresh from the tanks in the dining room, by the pound, if you wish), we're digging the squid because we're fans of great calamari. And, for only $7 with hot and sour soup, rice and tapioca for dessert, it's quite the bargain. But get it for lunch: the price doubles at dinner and there is no soup.
You'll hardly find a wimpy ring in sight; instead, behold 15 large strips and chunks of thick, chewy flesh encased in a golden, crunchy batter speckled with enough black pepper to assertively season the mellow squid. A sweet, buttery glaze and salty splashes of soy sauce baptize the mound. Plenty of garlic and scallion add freshness, while fat slices of stir-fried jalapeño are cooked just enough so the heat opens up and lingers on your tongue after each bite.
Paired with a few scoops of rice and a spoonful of their table satay sauce–an oily mix teeming with chili flakes that comes off like the devilish cousin of Carlos Salgado's jet-black salsa de aciete–this is an addictive plate we've devoured too many times in the last couple weeks.