Destination Orange County

Dedicated to Orange County

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

El Toro Library

OC Public Libraries: El Toro Branch
24672 Raymond Way
Lake Forest, CA 92630


This library was good-sized and I particularly liked that it had lots of tables inside to do homework or study. The individual study tables had outlets to charge your laptop. It was quite busy even though I was there on a Sunday. There were lots of children’s videos and DVDs. A community room was also located in the back (you had to exit the main library to get to it). There was enough parking space, which is particularly helpful on a busy day.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tustin Library

OC Public Libraries: Tustin Branch
345 E. Main Street,
Tustin, CA 92780

This was a large and spacious library. There were lots of comfy chairs inside. It was aesthetically pleasing from the outside as well as the inside. There was ample parking space so there should not be a problem on busy days.I could see lots of advertisements for events and workshops. One of them was for a mediation group that met once a week. I think that’s such a great way to bring more people to the library while also teaching them important techniques.



A large kids area called the “Elizabeth Anne Macpherson Children’s Learning Center” boasts a good-sized collection of books with a separate space for young kids to study and read. An additional section was solely devoted to teens and study tables were strategically placed for convenience. Although there was a large number of computers visible when you enter the library, there was an additional computer lab in the back for special classes offered. Private study rooms were also located for groups to meet. There was also a copy machine in a separate room.

What I particularly liked about the library was the courtyard with lots of seating space where one could sit, relax, and read.



Saturday, March 24, 2012

Mason Regional Park

Irvine, California 92612

Located near University of California, Irvine, this park offers a refuge for people of all ages. There is a beautiful lake, picnic tables, barbecue grills, and trails to meander through. A fee is charged for parking inside.

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weird looking plant



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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Darna Moroccan Cuisine

16076 S Harbor Blvd
Fountain Valley, CA 92708

To visit their website, click here.

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**Darna offers a lunchtime buffet for $9.99 (not including tax) on Mon-Sat from 12PM-3PM.



The décor was definitely warm and inviting. The lady that took our order was super sweet. It turns out that it is a family-owned restaurant and they are a friendly lot.


We got some some complimentary appetizers-hummus,bread, and pickled radish.


I would say that the food is more on the expensive side. I ordered chicken tajine for $13, but I was not expecting what I got. Even though it tasted pretty good, I will order something different next time. The whole, intact chicken was difficult to handle and I made a mess. My parents ordered the usual meat plate and they were happy with their choice. They got the beef kabab plate and the chicken kabab plate, each for $12.


^This is the poor chicken after I was done with it.


For dessert, we had some Moroccan cookies for $2/cookie. They tasted great!

Food: 4/5

Service: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

**For Ramadan, Darna is having an Iftar buffet everyday. Call (714) 775-7000 for more details.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Huntington Beach Central Park

Golden West St, Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Located near the library, it’s the perfect way to spend your day. Take your kids to the park in the early hours and end the morning with some quiet reading inside the library, near the beautiful indoor water fountain.





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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Usmania: Indian and Pakistani cuisine

7362 Westminster Blvd
Westminster, CA 92683
(714) 889-1517

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It’s a tiny place located at Westminster and Hoover, but you can’t miss it while driving by. There is a big sign that reads “Usmania-Indian and Pakistani Cuisine”. I think they bought out a fast food outlet because that’s what it looks like from the outside. The inside is clean and comfortable, but a little small. It seems like it is family-owned.


^Chicken Biryani, $7.99


^Lamb Qorma, $8.99



The food tasted fresh and authentic. Even my parents, who are normally very picky about this kind of food, were impressed by the culinary skills of the unknown chef. I have a feeling that the ‘auntie’ is the one that does the cooking. The prices to me seem a little on the high side, but the taste is worth the price.

Food: 4.5/5

Service: 3/5 (they take their time)

Overall: 4/5

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pho Ellie

765 S. State College Blvd., Suite B
Fullerton, CA 92831

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My first ever authentic Vietnamese cuisine turned out to be a hit!

After hiking, my friend and I decided to try this place out and I liked it so much that I decided to come along with my parents the same week. The place is warm and cozy while the owner is really nice. 




The décor was lovely and the restaurant itself was neat and clean, which is a must for my parents.


This was the first time I tried pho (even though I grew up in Orange County).



The portions were very generous and I had to take some food home (which I normally don’t do).

I ordered the ‘ellie’s combo’ which came with a hot sandwich and an extra small pho (which turned out to be a generous portion) for $7.95.

Food: 4.5/5

Service: 4.5/5

Overall: 4.5/5

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