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This is what happens when Bay Ridge comes to Williamsburg

for The Brooklyn Paper

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.”

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.”

“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].

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Reader Feedback

Miranda from 11211 says:
Bad, overpriced food. Super tacky design and decor. The place is a joke. As a matter of fact that whole hideous block is possessed by satan. Read the Yelp reviews for this joint, and while you're there read the ones for their neighbors, Finailly. Hilariously sad, menaces to public health. Then there are those lovely NYC Pet people who bragged about how excited they were to put the two other nearby pet supply stores out of business. Don't get me started on Khim's Millennium. Its the block. All of it. Demonic possession.
Feb. 25, 2012, 11:31 pm
Miranda from 11211 says:
Go back to Asia you sushi men!
Feb. 26, 2012, 8:22 am
WW from Bay Ridge says:
" said our hostess, as she led us past a pair of preening Geisha girls "

Racist crap from an ignorant writer.

What did they say next?

"So Solly" or "Me love you long time"
Feb. 26, 2012, 9:18 am
Rob from Williamsburg says:
I brought my 12 year old son, because I figured he would appreciate it. It was pretentious, bad, and over-priced. The waitress got my order wrong. The fancy faucet in the fancy bathroom scalded my hand. I wouldn't recommend it.
Feb. 26, 2012, 12:04 pm
David from Brighton beach says:
As much as I hate seeing a restaurant close, this place will. It is totally out of reach with the neighborhood. You are catering to simplified hipsters, not gawky jersey shore types from staten island and the remaining left in Brooklyn. I guess they figured they can cater to the SEA crowd, but SEA is cheap and good.
Feb. 26, 2012, 3:04 pm
Joe Blow from Bay Ridge says:
The place is over the top, but who knows, they catch on as an ironic trend. Never underestimate the simplicity of hipsters, or their lack of taste. After all, who ever thought trucker hats would be in "style" again.
Feb. 27, 2012, 11:24 am

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