Thyme Café & Market

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At this cheery Joan’s on Third-style café, tubs of beef bourguignonne are available for takeout. A deli case glistens with salads like the one with butternut squash, arugula, bacon, and cranberries. All manner of dangerous-looking pastries are displayed on the counter: pies, croissants, muffins, and more. Diners slurp from deep bowls of corn chowder, munch salads topped with rosy fillets of salmon, and nosh sandwiches like tarragon chicken salad and turkey meat loaf on our new favorite baguette. The lunch rush can be intimidating, but coffee and a generous helping of chocolate bread pudding put us at ease.  » 1630 Ocean Park Blvd. (310-399-8800 or thymecafeandmarket.com). B-L-D Mon.-Sat. No alcohol. Gourmet Deli        $$ 

Photograph courtesy thymecafeandmarket.com