Josh got home last night after baseball practice and was wondering about dinner. I told him we were going to Bar Q at 8. He said, "Oh, Anita Lo's new restaurant? They had a fire there a week or so ago". He is obviously clued in. I was impressed.
Bar Q is in fact Anita Lo's newest addition to her expanding empire. Anissa being the first and Rickshaw Dumpling being the second. I see her walking through the neighborhood with her two pugs on occasion.
Bar Q is a welcome addition to the ever transforming Bleeker Street. The restaurant has been packed since the day the doors opened. Two rooms and a back yard. Good flow and a bar for about 6 people who just walk in. Low ceiling, intimate.
The menu is great. There is a raw bar that serves oyster and four different types of sashimi which is all fresh and delicious. You can order yourself an appetizer and a main or you can opt to order family style. I am a big fan of sharing and tasting so we went for the family style.
We started with a trio of tartares. Chopped tuna, salmon and hamachi, barely a teaspoon of each, served in a chilled avocado soup. It was okay. There wasn't the bite that I was hoping for. We also had the grilled squid salad with hijiki. Small pieces of char-grilled squid in a mound with hijiki on the side. Missing something maybe a dressing. Grilled tuna ribs served with a yuzu green chili combo. Interesting concept. Very little meat on the bones which is fine but they were so grilled that the taste of the grill is what came out not the flavor.
Next out was our oysters and sashimi which were all fresh and tasty. Meats came next.
We had the baby back ribs with mother's bbq sauce. Good ribs. Sticky and tasty. We also went with the pork buns. Spit roasted pork belly that fell apart and was really delicious with steamed buns on the side to create your own sandwich. You can also order a side of steamed buns for other meats or fish to create your own concoction. With this we had the grilled eggplant. Japanese eggplants, split down the center, grilled and served with a sweet miso glaze. Quite good. The best was the tea smoked duck breast. Well cooked, lots of flavor and delicious served with chilis and lemon. I really liked this the best.
The staff, up front, seems a little bit unorganized but the waitress couldn't have been nicer. I just get the feeling that they haven't got it together yet. Over time the kitchen will play with the flavors in each dish. I thought that grilled stuff could have had more flavor than the taste of the grill. I really do like the menu. Maybe Anita should spend more time with the chef in the back because Anissa is fantastic and the menu she has created at Bar Q tempts the palette. Will be back but am going to give it some time to work through each dish. They are almost there.