Themed restaurants offer music, gifts and art to enhance the dining experience. By Joey Herkert and Nick Roque
A visit to the strip would not be complete without going to one of Las Vegas’amazing themed restaurants. We had the unique opportunity to tour 3 of the coolest themed restaurant venues around; House of Blues, the Rainforest Café, and Planet Hollywood. Each restaurant features their own unique foods, special features such as live music, memorabilia, and art. Originally started in cities on the east coast and midwest, you can now find them scattered our own casino resorts.
The Planet Hollywood Restaurant opened originally in New York City in 1991. Locally it can be found in the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace. PH offers an impressive collection of Hollywood memorabilia, including screen worn outfits and props from your favorite movies and television shows. You can even see the actual outfit that Fred Flintstone wore in the movie. We especially loved the statue of Rocky Balboa from Rocky IV, and felt the décor had tremendous Hollywood style. Blackened mahi-mahi, sizzling fajitas, and the LA Lasagna are some of the unique offerings on the menu. Planet Hollywood is open 9AM to 11PM Sunday through Thursday, and 9AM to midnight on weekends.
Imagine you are in the tropical rainforest experiencing thunderstorms, waterfalls, wild animals, and tropical fish. The Rainforest Café offers you such an escape. The first Rainforest Café opened in 1994 at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN. It is located locally in the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. We thought that the Rainforest Café was awesome! The simulated thunderstorm was so realistic we felt like we were in a roaring, raging rainstorm. Unlike many of Las Vegas’ themed restaurants, the Rainforest Café was packed with families and had a huge gift shop filled with stuffed animals, books, and other goodies. The menu offers different types of food including an Extreme Volcano Sundae, the signature Rainforest Burger, tomato basil soup, and lava nachos. When someone orders the volcano sundae and yells VOLCANO!” The café is open 8AM to 11PM Sunday through Thursday, and 8AM to midnight on weekends.
House of Blues
The House of Blues is all about extraordinary live music! It began in 1992 in Cambridge, Massachusetts’ Harvard Square. It was founded by Blues Brother, Dan Aykroyd and a mix of other musical performers. The vibe made us feel like putting on or blues dress clothes and getting on stage to rock out! Get up close with your favorite bands in a smaller venue, and there is no shortage of great music. The menu features a large selection of southern-inspired regional cuisine. Dishes include Creole and Cajun staples such as jambalaya, rosemary cornbread, gumbo, gator pizza, and the Elwood blackened chicken sandwich. The House of Blues Foundation Room atop the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino also has a restaurant with perhaps the best view of the Las Vegas Strip! The House of Blues is open Sunday thru Thursday 7:30AM to Midnight, and 7:30AM to 1:00AM, Friday and Saturday.
Whether your passion is Hollywood celebrities, live music, or experiencing the sounds of the jungle, you can find it at a theme restaurant. We thought that all three restaurants were spectacular and unique in their own way. By choosing to visit these extraordinary restaurants, you get much more than just really good tasting food. You get entertainment, souvenirs, and photo opportunities worthy of posting on your Facebook page!