You mostly expect to find octopus at a Japanese restaurant. At the Beverly Hills location of Sushi Roku, executive chef Jiro Kobayashi slices the elegant octopus sashimi into a salad with radish, cucumber, finger limes, micro popcorn shoots (yellow leafy plants produced by sprouting actual popcorn) and fried micro shiso in a peppery vinaigrette. The dish is tangy and refreshing, the chilled octopus slightly chewy. 8445 W. Third St., Los Angeles; 323-655-6767.9. Red O:
There's no getting around the fact that octopus is on the plate when chef Efren F. Cardenas' wood-grilled octopus with crunchy chorizo, heirloom potato, Guajillo salsa and queso añejo arrives at the table. The tentacles swirl around the potatoes; crumbles of cheese drop into a sucker -- or two or three. It's quite a sight, although the highlight of Cardenas' creation has got to be the chorizo. 8155 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles; 323-655-5009.8. The Parish:
Chef Casey Lane's plate of wood-grilled octopus resembles fingerling potatoes sitting atop chickpea puree. The octopus meat is incredibly tender, and acts as a canvas for the Basque country salsa, which has a terrifically strong kick from a mix of North African spices and Basque paprika. 840 S. Spring St., Los Angeles; 213-225-2400.