Despite his reputation for creating one of the most buzzworthy food mashups in recent memory – the Ramen Burger – Keizo Shimamoto has never had a brick and mortar restaurant all his own, instead favoring food halls, pop-ups and partnerships. In some ways, he still doesn’t totally have a proper restaurant, but semantics aside, the good news is that if you want to go sit down and eat a Ramen Burger, there’s a place in Queens, New York, where you can do that.
According to Gothamist, Shimamoto is now serving Ramen Burgers – as well as his other specialties such as boring old non-burger-shaped ramen – out of what was and still is his commissary kitchen at 13-13 40th Avenue in Long Island City. Since the space, now dubbed Ramen Shack, was never really intended to be a full-on restaurant, diners who show up will be a little cramped.
It features just 10 seats. And since the chef has plenty of other business to attend to, the shack also has sparse hours: It’s only open from 11am to 7pm Tuesday through Friday. However, Gothamist points out that if the demand is there, Shimamoto said he may consider staying open later. He may end up wanting to swallow those words faster than a slurp of ramen noodles once word gets out about this new venture.
Shimamoto says that what makes this restaurant so great for him is that he’s going to be there anyway working. “Even if nobody comes to eat, I'll be prepping and thinking of new stuff,” he said. Along those lines, if easier access to Ramen Burgers isn’t enough to make you check out Ramen Shack, maybe the opportunity to try exclusive new food items will convince you to come in. “Three years of good and bad decisions have brought me back to what I wanted to do originally,” Shimamoto told Gothamist. “This is my lab where I can change styles whenever I want.”
Who knows what could be next?! Ramen Hot Dog?? Eh, that’s probably to obvious.