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Walter El Nagar Plans LA Farewell Tour With One Last Pop-Up Series

The Italian chef is moving on

Walter El Nagar
Walter El Nagar
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

It seems that Walter El Nagar, the transient chef who has made a home for his Barbershop Ristorante pop-ups all over the city, is moving on from Los Angeles altogether. In an email sent to Eater, El Nagar says that he’ll be staging one last goodbye pop-up series at Service & Supply (yes, an actual barber shop) in Venice, beginning March 29 and running through April. After that, he’s gone.

The loss of El Nagar is a particularly striking one, following the chef’s string of opportunities around greater Los Angeles. Not only did he run successful pop-ups at places like Japanese Knife Imports in Beverly Hills on and off for years, he also was in talks with Adam Fleischman at one time to give those pop-ups a permanent home in Downtown. That eventually fell through, and El Nagar ended up at SMYC in Santa Monica, but only lasted about a month as he and owner Andrew Kirschner fell out over some creative differences.

In regards to what’s next, El Nagar says that he’ll be moving on to Europe for a touring series of dinners that will begin in June in Barcelona and ultimately conclude in his hometown of Milan, Italy. After that, he’s not quite sure.

As for the pop-up dinners themselves, El Nagar will be charging $75 for five courses that comprise new dishes and old favorites, alongside a $25 drink pairing. There will be two seatings each Tuesday and Wednesday night — one at 7 p.m., the other at 8:30 p.m. — through April, and you’ll have to make reservations via the website beforehand. And then, once it’s gone it’s gone. Which, ultimately, is how El Nagar’s pop-ups were always meant to be.

Update: El Nagar says that the final dates of his pop-up will run at the Wilshire Lofts instead, at 700 Wilshire Blvd. in Downtown.