Cozy neighborhood cafe and market is a one-stop shop for gourmet treats
Written by Michelle Lyn | Photography Courtesy of Lehua Noelle/Thyme Cafe & Market
What began as Thyme Catering in 2004 has lovingly evolved into a cozy brick and mortar cafe and marketplace serving fresh gourmet food, including mouth-watering baked goods. Owner Maire Byrne grew up in a large family where food and convivial gatherings took center stage. Cooking alongside her mother, Byrne grew to truly appreciate both home-cooked food and the delicious memories it creates. So after attending the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Byrne perfected her techniques at acclaimed restaurants like Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, and Ajax Tavern, in Aspen. Her first company, Thyme Catering, earned Byrne a loyal clientele. Driven by its success, she opened Thyme Café & Market in the Ocean Park area of Santa Monica.
“I have always felt that the simple act of bringing people together to enjoy beautiful food grown, raised and prepared with love is the most sincere act of sharing and showing someone that you care,” says Byrne of philosophy that the neighborhood’s many local regulars receive on a daily basis. Breakfast patrons go for the Roasted Tomatillo Breakfast Burrito and the Fried Egg Sandwich on Pretzel Croissant, while the lunch set favor the Grilled Chicken and Fig Jam sandwich with manchego, red onion and basil. For dinner, Beef Short Rib Tacos with cabbage, cilantro and Chimichurri or Spiced Rubbed Lamb Sirloin with mint relish roasted cauliflower and Israeli couscous and dates are interesting enough to pique anyone’s interest.
Byrne’s Gourmet To-Go program, meanwhile, makes entertaining easy, with customers able to simply swing by and pick up a delicious dinner. During summer months, the market stocks an assortment of picnic boxes with everything needed for an afternoon at the beach, a night out at the Bowl, or a concert on the Pier, including cold beer and wine. Thoughtfully curated gift baskets are designed to offer non-perishable grocery items, freshly baked dishes from the cafe or a combination of both. For customers wanting to do something extra special to show their gratitude for a friend or loved one, bespoke options are also available.
Although Byrne may have put down roots with Thyme Café & Market, she still offers full-service catering, much to the delight of discerning fans all over Los Angeles.
THYME CAFÉ & MARKET
1630 Ocean Park Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405