Rolling the rice dice in Brooklyn

New York

Rolling the rice dice in Brooklyn
Rolling the rice dice in Brooklyn


Success requires risk, whether it's trying out for football despite being "too small", or taking over the world using only tiny plastic armies. For a Japanese spot putting it all out there, hit up 1 or 8, opening sometime next week.

Dishing out classic Japanese with enough twists that the veteran sushi team believed the name -- a translation of a gambling idiom meaning "all or nothing" -- embodied the chances they were taking in the kitchen, 1 or 8's set up in a starkly heaven-esque dining room with a forest of white painted trees, whitewashed brick walls, white high-backed leather booths & bucket seats, white tables, and white hanging lights (when it's time to leave, ask for your Bill Almighty). The adventure starts with sakizukes (snacks traditionally paired w/ the first sake order) like hijiki seaweed w/ cream cheese paste, and burdock root & carrot w/ sweet soy, then moves to ceviches of octopus with grapes/yam/vinegar jelly, and terrines from monkfish liver/grilled peach to rib-eye/onion/shiitake/egg; cooked mains include a chicken pot-au-feu (chicken/pork sausage/kombu broth/red pepper paste), Pork Belly Two Ways (a la plancha and cutlet), and something called "Flap Steak", a great new nickname for a body part you long to know better. Raw-wise, seasonal offerings abet a sushi menu that includes three kinds of tuna, bi-coastal salmon, sea bream, and sea urchin, while original concepts run from a salmon job w/ mozzarella/sun dried tomato/basil, to the Mushroom Tuna w/ red pepper & asparagus, to the meatless, tempura Vege-ten, though a true ten requires something more than vege.

To up your own risk taking there's beer & wine, a 30-strong sake list, and a bevy of original cocktails, from the rum/lime/brown sugar/shiso/yuzu juice "Shiso Mojito", to the sesame shochu/soy milk/white sesame "Goma Shake" -- drink too much of either, and you'll have to tell someone "SOOOORRRRRY!".

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