Ellie’s Table At North Beach in San Clemente is a bakery. The menu is simplified to just pastries, some salads and sandwiches, all designed for on-the-go eating or quick bites. About the most complicated thing here is a flat-iron steak served alongside a relish and with a cheese roll; at $11, it’s pound-for-pound one of the better steaks in South County. But the most popular offerings are palm sandwiches, those relics of Elks Lodge meetings of yore that find new life in the able hands of Ellie’s. On a topside tray sit five styles, from a straightforward ham-and-mayo to a roast beef version with the meat stacked so tightly its folds jut over one another like the deckle-edged pages of a 19th-century book. Cold, they’re fine; warm, the focaccia bread used in the palm sandwiches shines through with its slightly herby-cheesy beauty.
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Don't mind the sign near the entrance of Ellie's Table At North Beach that says, "Line Starts Here." Actually, scratch that: If there is a line, follow it. But in the few minutes or so this San Clemente restaurant isn't slammed but ...