If you have not yet made the top, then consider a variant of Sven’s idea. Make the top and bottom layers, but build a frame as the center layer, that way you get the long grain up the sides. This assumes that you have some off cuts from the ends and at least two sides that you can rip, plane and use for the frame. Cut the off cuts from the ends in to thin slices and use these to show end grain. Use whatever else you have spare for the internals of the frame.
Colin, Czech Rep.