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     El Cortez has been recognized by the City of Laguna Niguel as a “Historic Landmark” and has been serving Mexican cuisine to south Orange County for over 30 years! 


     In 1971 Jose & Molly Franco opened their first restaurant in Santa Monica, California using traditional family recipes, passed down from a region centered around “Los Altos” in Jalisco, Mexico. 


     In 1985 “El Cortez” opened it’s doors in Laguna Niguel, California. We are honored to share our traditional Mexican cuisine to the local community in an effort to offer Mexican hospitality and fun family experience.



Family of 7 at a wedding. Mother and father, 4 boys and a girl. Men are all in suits. Mother is holding a baby boy.
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