It’s getting to be that time of year when I’m itching to get outside in the sunshine any chance I get. Little Italy is known for having frequent street festivals year-round, taking over 17 blocks of the charming neighborhood. On April 29-30, the 33rd annual ArtWalk will take place in Little Italy to celebrate visual and performing arts. There will be abundant artwork for sale, as well as interactive music and dance performances. It’s a great way to support local artists, expose your kids to art, and spend a day strolling the outdoors. The free festival includes every medium of art, including painting, glass work, photography and jewelry. There’s also street food, activities for kids, and other special attractions. ArtWalk is the largest fine art festival in SoCal, featuring more than 350 local, national and international artists. Bravo!
If you’re not in the mood for street food or would rather have a sit-down experience, head over to Herb & Eatery, a casual cafe and market that’s in the front space of Herb & Wood restaurant. The large windows and cozy decor make it a cafe that you’d want to spend your mornings sipping coffee and eating a fresh-baked cinnamon roll, doughnut or croissant (flown in from France). The menu includes egg dishes, smoothies, salads, sandwiches, appetizers and larger entrees.
All the pastries are really tasty, and you can have them served warm for extra gooeyness. I love the almond croissant and the glazed doughnuts with fun flavors like maple or lemon and raspberry.
The baked eggs with mushrooms, goat cheese, kale, herbs and creme fraiche is a standout savory dish.
If you’re not in the mood for breakfast items, try the poke & avocado salad with kimchi, cilantro, black vinegar lime ponzu and mixed greens. It has a spicy kick to it, and I could eat one every week. For a heavier dish, the chicken fried chicken sandwich is a crunchy, flavorful bite with kimchi and yuzu kosho aioli on a buttermilk bun.
The avocado toast is good any time of day, served on wheat bread with radish, lemon and spices. I like to add an over-easy egg on top for extra umami. Try a flavored kombucha, wine or craft beer on tap, and be sure to shop the market for items to take home for later.