DINING: Our McDonald's is a model, plus lots of news


As reported in USA Today, McDonald’s has decided to retool its look for a more upscale feel, at a cost of more than $1 billion nationwide. The bright colors and plastic furnishings reportedly will be history, and earth tones will figure prominently in the new designs at a “vast majority” of the chain’s outlets.

A Tampa McDonald’s was trotted out as an example of the new look, but it reminds me an awful lot of the high-tech MickeyD’s that opened on the Strip a few years ago.

And in other restaurant news:

Pink Taco at the Hard Rock Hotel, 4455 Paradise Road, has extended its hours to 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights. New breakfast items include a breakfast burrito, huevos rancheros and chilaquiles. ...

Meanwhile, the resort’s Johnny Smalls now offers a lunch menu Thursdays through Mondays, with all-you-can-eat tapas for $15.99. The restaurant now is open until 3 a.m. Fridays through Sundays. ...

First Food & Bar at the Palazzo, 3325 Las Vegas Blvd. South, has updated its Sunday brunch with such dishes as cinnamon bun french toast, “wide-load” oversized lemon poppy flapjacks, a warm goat-cheese souffle and country-fried lobster tail and waffles. ...

Comme Ça at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, 3708 Las Vegas Blvd. South, has introduced a new spring menu, which includes a Provence country salad, chilled asparagus salad, mushroom risotto and butter-poached lobster. ...

Nove Italiano at the Palms, 4321 W. Flamingo Road, also has introduced its spring menu, including such dishes as a salad of private-farm mixed greens with strawberries and goat cheese, spring brodo and grilled Thai snapper. ...

The Tropicana, 3801 Las Vegas Blvd. South, has unveiled its South Beach Marketplace, a food-and-drink court right off the casino floor. Its outlets include Pellegrino Pizza & Deli, Nuudles: World Noodle Bar, The Naked Spoon yogurt and gelato and Starbucks. ...

And Rock & Rita’s at Circus Circus, 2880 Las Vegas Blvd. South, is offering two-for-one dinners including barbecued pork ribs, shrimp pomodoro, Cajun rib-eye and chicken Parmesan.