*Margarita Avila is remembered for her strength, spirit and skill.

The Orange County restaurant world lost one of its pioneering finest this week with the death of Margarita Avila, matriarch of the Avila’s El Ranchito family-owned chain whose beloved Mexican food recipes helped make the restaurant group a regional success story. Avila died Tuesday at her Corona del Mar home. Her youngest daughter, also named Margarita, said her mother was surrounded by family when it happened. She was 93.

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