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This is what happens when Bay Ridge comes to Williamsburg • Brooklyn Paper

This is what happens when Bay Ridge comes to Williamsburg

Fushimi chefs.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Care for a side of psychedelia with your sushi roll?

Slide all the way down the rabbit hole at Williamsburg’s supersized (6,200 square feet) outsized (260 seat) and over-the-top outpost of Fushimi, the pan-Asian restaurant, lounge, and exercise-in-sensory-overload first popularized in Staten Island and Bay Ridge.

“I actually think it’s kind of subdued,” said our hostess, as she led us past a pair of preening Geisha girls flanking the front entrance, floor-to-ceiling “jellyfish” chandeliers shadowing the day-glow bar, and LED illuminated dining area — dotted with pod-like booths and tabletops of glistening colored resin cast with Japanese river stones.

“I feel like I’m in the final scene of 2001: A Space Odyssey,” observed our photographer as we wandered down the “Tunnel of Love” — an eye-popping circular pathway to the unisex bathrooms lit in intergalactic red. “This place is looks like a Tokyo casino financed by the Italian Mafia.”

Fushimi, Bay Ridge’s crazy kooky Tokyo-inspired Japanese joint opened an outpost in a 6,200-square-foot space in Williamsburg on Friday night.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

The strange journey continued through Chef Chul Kee Ko’s globe-hopping menu, with stops in Thailand (spicy lobster salad with crushed peanuts, mint and cilantro), Japan (sea bass with miso and a “Sex on the Beach” roll with tempura shrimp, spicy tuna, salmon and avocado), France (petit filet mignon with wasabi butter and truffled mashed potatoes, herb-crusted rack of lamb with Dijon mustard and crab confit), and even Italy (seared sea scallops with pesto, cauliflower, black beans and mushrooms — not the magic kind.) A little something for everyone! Kind of.

One would imagine that the aesthetic shock-value of the space paired with a catch-as-catch-can menu is a play to put butts in the seats which, on opening night, at least, appears to be working.

Rubbernecking locals mingled with pant-suited moms looking for a hot night out — along with crowds and couples from Bay Ridge and Staten Island, angling for a peek at the competition.

“I’m actually a regular at the Fushimi in my neighborhood,” said Bay Ridge resident Mike Vittorio. “I love the food, the ambiance — it’s always a party. But this one — wow, it’s like a whole other level.”

Fushimi’s “Sex on the Beach” roll, with salmon, spicy tuna, avocado and shrimp tempura.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

“I work in Manhattan, so it’s easier to grab dinner in Williamsburg,” he added. “I can come here to unwind after a long day.”

Not like anyone’s going to mistake Fushimi for a casual neighborhood joint, or any kind of authentic — but sometimes, all you really want is a kooky sushi roll, a decent lychee martini, and a sweeet contact high.

Fushimi [475 Driggs Ave. between 10th and 11th Streets in Williamsburg, (718) 963-2555].

Photo by Stefano Giovannini

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