clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

El Torito Founder Larry Cano Passes Away From Cancer

Cano helped make guacamole and fajitas popular in America.

El Torito/Facebook

Restaurateur Larry J. Cano — the founder of the El Torito restaurant chain — has passed away. According to the Associated Press, Cano's chain is oftener credited with helping to popularize items like guacamole, fajitas, and blended margaritas in America.

When Cano returned from World War II he took over a shuttered Polynesian restaurant in Los Angeles and turned it into the first El Torito. There he served a "mild version of Mexican food" that was friendlier and more palatable to "mid-century American tastes." Eventually he oversaw the opening of 200 locations by the time he retired in 1988. Cano passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 90. Raise a frosty strawberry margarita tonight in his honor.

Sign up for the Sign up for the Eater newsletter

The freshest news from the food world every day