It’s nice to find a place that cooks as well (or better) than you do because when you are too tired or not in the mood to create something for yourself or your family, there is Thyme Cafe & Market on Ocean Park in Santa Monica right next to Bob’s Market.

I ordered some half pint containers to go to try out a few of their prepared dishes to go. There is a bright cafe where you can eat in any of their breakfast or lunch items, like a BLT breakfast sandwich ($6.50) or challah french toast w/maple syrup ($6.50), to a curried chicken salad ($8.50) or a turkey meatloaf sandwich with caramelized onions and Harissa aioli on baguette ($7.50). They also have prepared salads, butternut squash or lentil soups, and whole casseroles to go ready in a side case if you want to run in and pick up a salmon salad ($8.50) for lunch or a boeuf bourguignon in quart containers ($18) for dinner.

I started with a half pint of the brussel sprouts with bacon and golden raisins ($4) which caught my eye in the showcase of food at the front counter. It was as good as it looks in the picture, the brussel sprouts cooked through but still crisp, the bacon was crunchy, and the golden raisins added a nice sweet tart element.

I also chose a half pint of the the curried couscous with slivers of raw carrots, scallions, almonds, currants and freshly chopped Italian parsley ($4). Although I liked the combination of ingredients and the curry flavor, the consistency of the couscous was a bit gummy.

Other options included a chicken vermicelli, shrimp in a creamy sauce, wild rice with cranberries and orange flavor, a greek salad, a lasagna, and a chicken with wine dish that was still steaming hot as it came out of the kitchen. You can order the dishes in half pint to quart sized containers, so get as much as you would like or get several half pints and give yourself a taste of everything.

There was also a nice assortment of cupcakes, scones, cookies, and quiches available, so I chose a coconut lemon thumbprint cookie for dessert. It had a nice crumbly shortbread texture with a nice lemon and coconut flavor.

Thyme just opened, so they are still working out kinks with things like the cash register (which had to be reprogrammed twice to print out my order), and some diners were not happy to find that they stopped serving breakfast before noon. Overall the space is welcoming and fresh with eager young servers serving beautiful food, so it is a remarkably good start for a new cafe from an experienced caterer.