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Olive & Thyme: A Gourmet Marketplace and Cafe takes root in Toluca Lake

Posted By Karen Young On February 24, 2011 @ 1:01 am In Breakfast,Catering,Coffee,Continental,Cooking Classes/Supper Clubs,Cuisine,Dessert,Dinner,Eat,Featured,Food,Gourmet/Market Cafe,Healthy,Lunch,Markets,My Daily Find,Restaurants,spotlight | 5 Comments

BY KAREN YOUNG

Another sign that the city food vibe is now filtering to the Valley is the opening of Olive & Thyme in Toluca Lake.  For years, many of us valley-ites have previously had to take a trip over the hill for a gourmet marketplace/eatery.  Whether it’s Joan’s on Third or Bay Cities Deli,  or the newer The Oaks Gourmet Market or Lemonade, we just couldn’t get comparable food “to go” or casual gourmet meals in the 818.

Gourmet food and household gifts are everywhere you look. PHOTOS: KAREN YOUNG

That started changing a bit a few years ago when Artisan Cheese Gallery introduced cheese, gourmet sandwiches, wine and some market items in Studio City — and Blue Table did the same in  Calabasas and Agoura.  Then Top Chef contender Alex Eusebio opened Sweetsalt  in Toluca Lake last year with its farmhouse feel and gourmet, fresh seasonal salads, sandwiches and soups.  Sweet Butter Kitchen followed a few months ago in Sherman Oaks with a breakfast and lunch menu, take n’ bake dinners, Intelligentsia coffee and fine baked goods. And coming up very soon is Charlie’s Pantry in Studio City.

Now, Olive & Thyme owners Melina and Christian Davies have gone even bigger and grander.  As investors at Mozza 2 Go, their dream was to bring a gourmet market/eatery (and more) near their home.  The Davies’ marketplace brings together Matthew Kaner of Covell, who is consulting on wine and beer; Valerie Gordon’s Valerie Confections for candy and baked goods; the ever popular Intellegentsia coffee; and over 50 international cheeses.

A communal wood table is surrounded by smaller tables with marble tops.

Fast and casual, it’s an order at the counter place where your food is brought to you. Sit at  individual marble top tables inside and out,  share the large wood communal table, or sit at the bar. Rustic concrete floors and white walls mixed with brick and tile give Olive & Thyme the feel of an upscale country store in the Hamptons.

Gourmet food and household gifts are everywhere you look—imported pastas, candy, candles, cooking books, salts, oils, vinegars.  Glass cases are filled with “take home” fare, such as meatloaf, lasagna, faro with roasted beets, tuna salad, curried chicken salad, chicken bowtie salad, potato salad, white bean salad and macaroni with cheese and bacon, plus daily specials ($6-$14)

Cakes, cookies and pastries.

Meals are made to order. Breakfast highlights include a Breakfast Handpie with eggs, cheese and ham in a flavorful pastry dough ($6), a Farmhouse panini with egg, cheese and bacon ($9), and the Forager panini with sausage, mushrooms, scrambled eggs, fontina & tapatio ($10).

Lunch and dinner items include what is in the glass case, plus salads and sandwiches, including the Short Rib Sandwich ($13),  Middle Eastern Chicken with harissa, hummus and tomatoes ($12), Jambon with ham, taleggio and fig ($11.50), and the Classic Deli with mortadella, ham. salami, swiss cheese, arugula and tomato bruschetta ($12.50).  Salad offerings include Chopped, Steak, Chinese and Cobb ($9-$13).  Daily soups are made fresh.

Perfect for parties, take home or mixing it up on a platter at the shop.

Baked goods  include salted caramel croissants, creme fraiche scones, blueberry crumble muffins, galettes, a meyer lemon tea cake and zucchini bread.  There are also large cakes, including coconut and carrot.

The beer and wine selections are carefully chosen from local and imported sources. Sit at the bar and order a bottle, glass or a pint along with a cheese ($12-20), charcuterie ($15) or mezze plate ($12).

Over 50 international cheeses.

The Davies have big plans for the future, including wine and cheese pairings, beer and dessert pairings, weekend cooking classes for kids, chocolate making classes,  jam making and canning classes, and pulled pork nights. They will also be joined by friends who are known actors and musicians who want to share their love of the kitchen by hosting special cooking classes.

Candy by Valerie Confections.

Olive & Thyme also caters. It’s just what the nearby studios and neighborhood ordered.

Olive & Thyme is located on Riverside, just east of Pass. Street and valet parking.

Olive & Thyme, 4103 Riverside Drive,  Toluca Lake.  Open M-F 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Closed weekends for now. (818) 557-1560

Karen Young is the Founder/Editor of My Daily Find. Email her: karen@mydailyfind.com
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