Maya Jannelle, Food + Fashion + Fun

Maya Jannelle contributes to SeeCalifornia with updates about California's food, fashion and fun. The multi-talented Maya was born in the Philippines and speaks six languages she learned growing up in Cebu and while working in Cyprus, Jordan, Kuwait and the USA.

She loves the beaches of Southern California where gelatos and ice cream desserts offer pick-me-ups on hot summer days. Two of her favorite beaches to snack on treats are Seal Beach in Orange County because of its small town atmosphere and Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles where you can park your car and walk to everything—the beach, restaurants and shops—within a few blocks.

Because of her petite frame, 5'1" and 105 pounds, it's a challenge finding small sizes, though she recently bought a really cute sundress in a boutique, Isabelle's Cabinet, on Main Street in Seal Beach. 

And most would be jealous of her eating habits! She can eat all she wants without gaining weight, and especially likes all-you-can-eat seafood buffets. Some of the best values in fish and seafood can be found in Buena Park, Garden Grove and Westminster, Calif., says Maya.

Maya's restaurant picks:

  • Asia Buffet in Buena Park for the endless supply of shrimp
  • My Thuan Supermarket in Westminster for fresh vegetables and seafood
  • BCD Tofu House, a Korean eatery in Garden Grove
  • Casablanca Moroccan Restaurant in Costa Mesa for Lamb Tagine (though the servings are getting smaller)
  • Gerry's Grill in Artesia for authentic Filipino food - expensive but tastes pretty good. Favorites: Chopsuey, Pork Barbecue, Pancit Palabok, Nilagang Bulalo (Beef Shank Soup)
  • India Kitchen in Tustin is delicious

For exercise Maya runs about 3 miles in the morning, and then takes a walk at the beach in the afternoon.

What keeps this 30-something on the run? "I have a great network of friends and we stay in touch," she says. "Sometimes a friend will come to my house and fix breakfast, or I'll visit them after work and we'll go out. Eating is our favorite past-time, but we'll go shopping, head to a spa or salon to get our nails done." And on weekends, Maya and her friends like to visit the beach, drop in for a Catholic mass, and even drive to the desert to play a couple of hours at a casino while grabbing a meal (usually buffet.)

In addition to all her friends, Maya is a doting godmother to two little girls, and half-sister to eleven siblings ranging in age from 13 to 37.

For those who know her, Maya always lightens a room with her smile and humor. If you're feeling down, she usually tries to cheer you up by talking about something happy and fun. After all, Food, Fashion & Fun are her specialty!

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