featured graphic for El Tornito Sunday brunch during COVID-19 Photo by C.E.H. Wiedel.

Sunday brunch returns to El Torito

Last week, Orange County Breeze received a news release that Sunday brunch has returned to El Torito restaurants. As we had heard independently that the Cypress site had gone all out for al fresco dining, we quickly made plans to visit in order to see for ourselves.

Sunday brunch menu at El Torito in Cypress. Photo by  C.E.H. Wiedel.
Sunday brunch menu at El Torito in Cypress. Photo by C.E.H. Wiedel.

Our local El Torito at 5995 Katella Ave. (northwest corner of Katella and Valley View St.) has indeed gone all out for al fresco dining — pavilions and shade umbrellas encircle the building, sheltering tables and chairs pulled outside from the dining room. A bit of thoughtful décor perks up the venue — bright potted flowers in addition to the water-conscious in-ground landscaping, plus Mexican-themed pottery. Outdoor heaters stand by to warm customers once the sun goes down.

We went for Sunday brunch, so no heaters were needed. Morning fog and coastal clouds kept the temperature pleasant.

Once seated, we were each given a small paper form to fill out if we wanted eggs to order — which turned out to be quite tasty. Margaritas are available (both to drink on site and bottled to go), but we stuck with water or lemonade. Also available to drink: orange juice, coffee, horchata, champagne, and mimosas. Appetizers extended beyond the expected corn tortilla chips and salsa roja to include fresh fruit and a plate of chilaquiles.

Day Hours
Monday 11:00 am to 10:00 pm
Tuesday 11:00 am to 10:00 pm
Wednesday 11:00 am to 10:00 pm
Thursday 11:00 am to 10:00 pm
Friday 11:00 am to 11:00 pm
Saturday 8:00 am to 11:00 pm
Sunday 9:00 am to 10:00 pm

Diners are not limited to eggs to order — buffet stations inside offered hot entrées, salads, tacos, and desserts. A short kids menu includes mini corn dogs, mac and cheese, chicken tenders, and fries.

One of our party is a true dessert fan. She rated as delicious each of the desserts she tried — flan, churros, bread pudding, and brownies. Another party member tried the arroz con leche, which he enjoyed. However, it was not the favorite of our fourth party member because of the texture.

I myself am a sucker for El Torito’s sweet corn cake, which was available at the hot entrées station alongside expected cheese enchiladas, beans, and rice.

Nobody went away hungry or disappointed!

The only cautionary note is the price: $26.99 per person (kids $9.99 each). Good food and all you can eat but that still comes out to well over a hundred bucks for a party of four adults, or almost seventy-five bucks for two adults and two kids before tax and tip.

As is apparent from the hours, this location is open seven days a week for dining al fresco, for takeout or curbside pickup, or for delivery. Brunch on Saturday and Sunday ends at 2 p.m. Staff recommends that you arrive early, or make a reservation because they become quite busy by 11 a.m.