Certain cuisines are inextricably linked to particular decor: Italian restaurants are Old-World'd up with Sicilian frescos, while Indian spots are overrun with red-pepper Christmas kudzu. Changing expectations for Asian barbecue joints: Bar Q
Designed by the guys behind Momofuku and cheffed by Annisa's owner, Bar Q's a tastefully spartan, soothingly futuristic West Village 120-seater with white walls, blonde woods, and slate floors. Dining's split between several differently stee'd zones, from open seating near the raw bar, to sidewalk-view window seats, to four semi-private booths shaped like the letter "C", for "C if you can fit a fourth diner in here". Grub's mainly Japanese-style grilled and smoked meats (lamb loin w/ garlic fried milk; stuffed spareribs with lemongrass BBQ), plus sashimi and shellfish: Maine sweet shrimp, stone crab claws, and oysters from coasts east (Cape Cod) and west (Hood Canal, the fjord of Puget Sound, not the gangbanger's invasive dental procedure)
In the back, Bar Q offers heated, terraced porch seating -- like the side of the ziggurat, it'll make you think you're dining in just another Sumerian bistro.