photos courtesy Hard Rock, Cinnamon’s and Shelley Stepanek

HARD ROCK CAFÉ on the Strip is easily found. Just north of MGM, and across the street from Park MGM, this 3-story behemoth building beckons you to come out and play. Indoor and outdoor seating, plenty of party rooms and a giant deck overlooking the Strip make this one big party atmosphere. They have new menu items including exquisite milkshakes, served in old school milk bottles, loaded with whipped cream and a churro chunk on the top in cookies and cream or strawberry cheesecake. Yes, had to have one. Their biggest new item is the actual 24-carat gold hamburger with a real thin slice of pure gold. The burger is loaded and has a side of the tastiest fries around. Another burger is loaded with bacon and onion rings, the slider plate has three good sized pieces and the wings are great. Plenty of salads, of which my favorite is the spinach with fresh beets, goat cheese and mandarin oranges. There are both elevators and escalators to reach the 2nd and 3rd floors. Everywhere you look are original guitars, costumes from famous movies and rock bands and plenty of memorabilia. Parking is just north of the venue. Open 7:30 a.m.-12:30 a.m. 702-733-7625. 3771 S. Las Vegas Blvd.

Looking for a different kind of show that might include dinner in Las Vegas? Well the D Hotel downtown has it, MARRIAGE CAN BE MURDER! A totally interactive dinner murder mystery. Husband and wife team of Eric and Jayne Post have done this show for 20 years. Eat, drink and be prepared to put on your detective’s cap, as you try and figure out who is killing some of your dinner partners. Is it the man sitting at the same table looking at your date? The lady across the way? The young teenager, with wildly spooky hair and horn-rimmed glasses? This show has been at the D for years, and the story line changes nightly. As you start with your salad, the lights go out, and you hear a scream. The first “victim” of the night has been slain. You have your choice of beef, pork or pasta for dinner, along with mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls and salad. And the dessert is the biggest surprise of them all: red velvet cake, creamy pudding, lots of whipped cream and a big (plastic-totally safe) hypodermic needle filled with raspberry to “stick” inside your dessert. 6:30 p.m., on the 2nd floor, 105 minutes. Children should be 8 or older. Anyone can be a suspect among totally innocent guests. The cast changes out every 8 weeks. Book at any of the show ticket companies. Starting at $78.00. 

CINNAMON’S is a great place for breakfast or lunch, featuring many Hawaiian dishes, such as mahi mahi, kalua pork, smoked salmon egg dishes, crab cake benedict, lox & cream cheese with salted salmon and they sell the best Hawaiian coffee. Egg dishes include Hawaiian, Chinese, Italian or farmers omelets. Cinnamon’s is known for its prime rib loco moco, roasted in-house with demi-gravy and horseradish cream. The pancakes are the best—red velvet, cinnamon apple or guava chiffon, each covered with their own tangy, sweet or tart sauces. Six burgers to pick from along with Phoenix beef loco moco (a Schezwan-style tasty crispy beef with peppers, mushrooms and onions).  Most locations have an island concept, as they have three restaurants in Hawaii and two in Japan and are fast expanding this great new concept. Owner Alika Nam will go out of his way for whatever you request. Plenty of parking and plenty of tables. Take-out orders and catering for sure. Open daily 8 a.m.-3 p.m. 7591 W. Washington. 702-478-7027. 

FLIGHTS is the newest Las Vegas Strip restaurant. With a total aviation-theme, this new eatery held its fifth location grand opening last month and is the first location outside of California. The restaurant is located in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, right next to the famous V theater, well known for hosting more than 10 shows. Restaurateur Alex Hult and his wife Sarah (Miss Nevada 2011) own the franchise. Corporate Chef Kyle Kingrey had some great food and beverage options served as a trio or a “flight” which allowed all guests to sample a variety of food such as ahi tuna, shrimp skewers and salads. Each drink had a unique Flight name, such as The Aviation featuring gin, Crème de Violette and Luxardo; The Maverick with bourbon, peach and balsamic; and The Mile High with tequila, Campari and grapefruit. Plenty of desserts include a beignet flight and a cheesecake flight. 

With a plane overhead and waitresses dressed in airline uniforms this extremely large and open restaurant overlooks patrons in the mall. Open from 9 a.m.-midnight, this is a one of a kind experience.