Barbershop Ristorante Now Popping Up in Venice
Chef Walter el Nagar launched his Barbershop Ristorante pop-up at the new A.O.C. location before it opened last year, and then took his modernist Italian cuisine to Mar Vista. Now he's back on the Westside, popping up at Axe in Venice on Monday and Tuesday nights beginning October 8. Originally from Milan, the art curator-turned-chef has worked around some of LA's finest Italian kitchens, including Piccolo Venice, Il Grano and La Botte. His cuisine is rooted in tradition but executed with innovative techniques, so you get things like Santa Barbara sea urchin ravioli, scallop-moka, live scallop and squid ink oil, or pearls of eggplant "caviar" with candied baby eggplant, hot chocolate foam, eggnog and cedrus sorbet.
There are only about 10 seats for the eight-course menus ($95 per person, with extra wine pairing for $55), and reservations can be made exactly one week in advance - so you can now make plans for next week's inaugural dinner, from 6-11 PM. After October, el Nagar will find a new home for the pop-up. Make reservations here.
UPDATE: Reps for Barbershop announce that due to "circumstances beyond their control," the pop-up is now taking place at Local (1205 Abbot Kinney Blvd.) beginning October 8, every Monday and Tuesday throughout October. 7-11 PM. There is no longer a wine pairing.