Anita Lo continues her quest for charming West Village domination with Bar Q, her recently-opened Asian barbecue restaurant. While it's no Annisa, it succeeds more often than it doesn't. It's a strange, intractable little place, full of touches of whimsy that border on the bizarre. How else to explain a barbecue joint outfitted in pristine white? Does Ms. Lo need assurance that her ribs are good enough to stain? If so, let it be said: they are. (Not the tuna ribs, though -- steer clear.) The roast pork belly steamed buns ($13) are, if not as iconic as David Chang's, very nearly as good; the tea-smoked salmon ($13), on the more delicate side, threatens to make the often-drab fish into a cookout staple. (Very few items, by the way, escape tea-smoking at Bar Q: salmon, duck and chicken all take their turn.) Entrees of pork wings ($24) and short ribs ($27) are plainly good, but sides are hit or miss: avoid the garlic fried milk ($7), a gooey variant of the mozzarella stick, though perhaps -- on name alone -- a wiser diner than I already would have. All in all, Bar Q's austere atmosphere is at odds with its down-home flavors. But Ms. Lo deserves credit for marrying two traditions -- Southern and Asian -- not necessarily thought of as happy bedfellows. Navigate her menu carefully, and they can be. 308-310 Bleecker St., (212) 206-7817.
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