I've tried all types of ramen around nyc but nothing really comes close to what chef Kenji Chiba at ramen lab brings to the table. For those who've never been inside ramen lab ( my first time as well) it's a 10'x25' sized ramen shop with 10 standing only spaces along a bar including a small kitchen and bathroom cramped in the back.
Every piece of kitchen equipment is located extremely tightly behind the serving counter to be able to borderline squeeze a standing person at the bar while doubling as corridor space leading the bathroom. There are no seats at all in the entire restaurant and for good reason ( though we were one of the first customers for dinner; shortly after a decent sized crowd formed outside the door ) to keep customers from getting a little too comfy.
There's only three different ramens you available: a normal ramen, a normal ramen with egg and a normal ramen with extra pork. All the variations were shoyu flavored with only extra pork or egg as an additional item.
Portion sizes were decent but the best part was the noodles and the broth. I tend to dislike heavier and greasier soup bases as they become hard to eat towards the end but this shoyu broth was light, very flavorful and smooth.
I didn't hesitate to finish the entire broth too, couldn't help it. Everything else besides for the broth and noodles were up to par with most ramen shops in the city not bad but definitely nothing that stood out to me. If I were to rate ramen lab against it's local competitors it would be something like this:
NYC's Best Ramen
But that's just my two cents in terms of just purely food comparison. Chef Kenji Chiba will only be at Ramen Lab from May 10-28 so be sure to stop by!