Saturday, October 27, 2007

El Toro's of Huntington Beach

An anonymous OCThen reader remembers a favorite restaurant of his named "El Toro's" in Huntington Beach, and asks about their chili...

When I was growing up in the 70's, my family and I would eat at our favorite restaurant several times a month. The name of the restaurant was El Toro's and was located in Huntington Beach on Warner Avenue, just west of Bolsa Chica Street. It closed in the early 80's and my family has missed it ever since. One of our favorite menu items was called a Mexita; a crisp corn tortilla with refried beans, chili sauce and cheese melted on top. It was the chili sauce that gave the Mexita its unique flavor, one that I haven't found at any other Mexican restaurant. Does anyone who remembers this restaurant know how they made this chili?
This is a tough request, but if you got any info or memories of this restaurant, click on "Post a Comment" and share it with us.


  1. We also used to eat at El Toros when I was a kid. I cant believe its closed.

  2. I remember eating there as well. We used to love the fish tanks. When it closed we started going to Marios on Springdale and Edinger. Great times there.

  3. Omg it used to be in Sunset and my whole family went there all the time. The best mexican food ever. When it moved to Huntington, I had my baby shower there and my "baby" will be 35 this year! Besides great mexican food, the halibut was to die for...And of course the margaritas were out of this world..totally miss it.

    1. my first job was washing dishes at ElToro's in 1971

  4. How about the burritos; beans, cheese, onion, olives wrapped in large flour tortilla grilled in butter till crisp and sprinkled with parmesan cheese. At least that's how I make them....

    NT of HB

  5. My parents use to go there when it was on PCH. I didn’t go until after the move to Warner Avenue. Every time we went we would start the meal with a Mexita . . . never had anything like that since. The burrito Nancy described sounds great; now I’m hungry.

  6. and the pineapple, kinda like in a tempura batter.

    NT in HB

    Let's open our own!

  7. Our family loved this place too. We lived in Seal Beach, so we used to go there when I was VERY young and it was in Sunset Beach. We moved away in 1959, but we would still drive from the San Bernardino mountains to have dinner there. I was so happy when we moved back to Seal Beach for many reasons, but one was it was a much shorter drive! I LOVED the chips, the salsa (even as a 2 year old!), the refried beans, the halibut, the halibut sauce and YES, the deep-fried pineapple. Makes my mouth water still. I've been a vegetarian for nearly 20 years, but I'd eat fish again if it were one more halibut dinner at El Toro!

  8. One of my first high school jobs was washing dishes at the El Toro Restaurant, in 1969. A friend got the job for me. I had been washing dishes at the Broadway restaurant at the Huntington Center that summer to earn enough money to buy a '57 Bel-Air race car.
    I only kept the job at the El Toro long enough to buy a new clutch to replace the one I burned up at Lion's Drag Strip that fall.

    Every time I drive past the spot on Warner I can still see the place in my mind.

    Earlier in the 60's we had the Shell Hangar over at Meadowlark. Easy to remember primitive Warner Ave, surrounded by fields and only 2 lanes.

  9. Rick from Long BeachAugust 09, 2012 9:21 PM

    My parents used to take me to El Toro's back in the late 50's early 60's. My dad knew the owner... I think his name was Stan. I remember the big aquarium, the bumper pool table and the cool old player piano. I have fond memories of that place and have driven past it recently, but can't recognize the exact place where it once was. Anybody know?

  10. I visited the Schoen and Marike families at their beach front homes in Sunset Beach while in grammar school in the mid-fifties. One of the great highlights were our dinners at El Toro on PCH at Seal Beach Blvd!! There was a large image of "El Toro" out front.
    Great memories in the days before Taco Bell and Del Taco.
    Bob Jabro
    Seal Beach

  11. I remember this restaurant, but I remember the original one at Sunset Beach where the sailors would bring their catamarans up on the beach, walk in the back door and sit down to order....or sit at the bar. Then they moved to Huntington Beach. I agree with Mexican food ever!! Wonder what happened? It looked like the kids were going to take over, didn't it! Still miss it.


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