Pardon the awful fake Spanish–frankly, it's no worse than reading the menu at Chevy's.
Real Mex, the parent company of pretty much every chain sit-down Mexican restaurant in OC that isn't Avila's El Ranchito, has declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal.
The Cypress-based chain, which operates El Torito, Chevy's, and Acapulco restaurants,
as well as Las Brisas in Laguna Beach, decided to file before their
financing hit a crisis; they're hoping to get the bankruptcy court's
permission to auction themselves off to the highest bidder. In the
meantime, they've said they will keep operating as normal.
We assume they'll find a taker, albeit for a devalued sum. The
restaurants are extremely popular, though perhaps a little bit
oversaturated–anyone who's ever driven down State College Blvd. knows
there's a superfluity of the chain; an El Torito at Ball Road, a
recently-closed El Torito Grill at Katella, and another El Torito at the
Block Outlets at Orange.
Meanwhile, if you're looking for the history of Real Mex, check Gustavo's cover article on founder Larry J. Cano, “The Big Enchilada”–or wait for Taco USA to come out next cinco de drinko.