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One Month In and Walter El Nagar Is Already Out as Chef at SMYC in Santa Monica

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That was quick.

SMYC, Santa Monica
SMYC, Santa Monica
Elizabeth Daniels

Oh boy. What’s to become of Walter El Nagar? The longtime Barbershop pop-up maestro has had a few different projects in the works over the years following some notable Westside kitchen stints, but nothing has really come of it so far.

Most recently, El Nagar was manning the stoves at SMYC (as in Santa Monica Yacht Club), working as chef de cuisine in charge of the restaurant under Andrew Kirschner of Tar & Roses fame. The beautiful space took over the dismantled La Botte (where El Nagar also once worked) only one month ago, but as of yesterday it appears that chef El Nagar is no longer involved.

Kevin Eats, who only dined at the Santa Monica Blvd. restaurant on Wednesday, notes in an update to his post that "very reliable sources" say El Nagar has been removed from the kitchen. So far, El Nagar hasn’t gotten back with a confirmation, but the rumors appear to be true.

Not long ago, El Nagar was also in talks with Adam Fleischman’s AdVantage Partners to bring an Italian spot called Barbería to Hope Street in Downtown, but that was back in September and the trail has gone pretty much cold since then. So, the question remains: What’s to become of the talented Walter El Nagar?

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