Odd name, but great food at new W’burg sushi-fusion joint, 1or8

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In Japanese gambling, the term “one or eight” means “all or nothing” — but there’s no risk at all on the menu at the new 1or8 Japanese fusion restaurant in Williamsburg.

This is certainly not “fusion” like serving soggy tacos alongside Chinese dumplings, as you see in too many places. Instead, Chef Atsushi Yokota and Sushi Chef Kazuo Yoshida have crafted a menu that boasts tartare and ceviche alongside the old sushi standards.

1or8 isn’t just eating out; it’s a multi-sensory culinary experience. Beginning with the stark, all-white décor accented by wintery branches, the eatery presents itself as an expertly executed exercise in minimalism.

Yet each dish comprises bold flavors that excite the palate — though never so many that any one flavor is lost. In the yellow mango roll ($9), mango and jalapeño do a sweet-and-spicy dance, while a cilantro sauce adds brightness. The lobster ceviche ($12) has a grapefruit and mango yuzu sauce that complements the freshness of the lobster.

The sushi is equally inspiring.

Owner Shinji Mizutani, who also owns the Japanese tapas joint Bozu, explained that he didn’t wanted to turn Japanese food on its head, but merely wanted to “infuse it with new ideas.”

Mission accomplished.

1or8 [66 S. Second St. between Wythe and Kent avenues in Williamsburg, (718) 384-2152].

Updated 12:05 am, February 16, 2010
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