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Desert Companion

Streetwise: Exploring West Sahara Avenue

Sahara of the west

Some dub this spicy stretch of Sahara Naughtytown for all its leather and Lucite. Amid the fetish and fantasy, though, are thrift bargains, fine cocktails, live music, memorabilia and exotic eats.

Goodwill

1 The stalwart of thrift stores just cut the (gently used) ribbon on this new superstore. Bright! Clean! Smells neutral! Skip the hit-and-miss housewares in favor of surprising scores amid the racks. 4580 W. Sahara Ave., 214-2066

HobbyTown USA

2 Whether you like flying RC helicopters or like stormin’ Normandy in an epic match of Risk, the global geek empire known as HobbyTown is your Store of Awesomeness + 4. 4590 W. Sahara #103, 889-9554

Rani’s World Foods

Rani's World Foods

3 Latter-day hippies get their staples at this Indian market: incense by the brick, basmati rice by the bag and ... fenugreek leaves by the box? Oh yes! And nom alert: The back lunch counter dishes out decent quickie Indian plates. 4505 W. Sahara Ave., 522-7744, ranisworldfoods.com

Zia Records

Zia Records

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4 Spotify hasn’t yet wiped out the last vestiges of music stored on old-timey disc-shaped thingamabobs. This regional-chain-that-doesn’t-feel-like-a-chain also offers edgy comix and novelty items. 4503 W. Sahara Ave., 233-4942, ziarecords.com

Tacos Mexico

5 This string of taco-slinging nodules strung across the valley are fast, cheap and reliable. Want the most tender bite? Get the lengua taco. Tasty! Get it? 3820 W. Sahara Ave., 444-1171

Mega RamenMega Ramen

6 The Thai/Japanese menu double-fists with two mighty cuisines. Don’t be fooled by the fast-foodish sign: This is a decently appointed sit-down spot that livens up on karaoke nights. 4251 W. Sahara Ave., 754-4999

Lady C Leather

7 Can’t talk about west-cen Sahara without giving a (submissive) nod to this Naughtytown staple. Odds are you’re not in the market for a flogger or ball-gag, but you’ll be king of your lucha libre league with a leather zipper mask! 4037 W Sahara Ave., 641-3834, ladycleather.com

Herbs & Rye

8 We gotta pour a blurb for our own 2012 Cocktail Bar of the Year! Forget your usual — dive into the era-spanning cocktail menu at this cozy standalone and literally drink in the history. 3713 W. Sahara Ave., 982-8036, herbsandrye.com

Herbs & Rye

Gallery of History

9 From The Wayner to Eugene O’Neill to Charles Schulz, this historic curiosity shop deals in autographs and artifacts of the rich, famous and often dead. 3601 W. Sahara Ave., 364-1000, historyforsale.com

Cellar Lounge

10 This quiet neighborhood bar is literally underground. Perfect for ducking in for a furtive nip — and we swear the subterranean acoustics give the music extra oomph on Cellar’s frequent blues nights. 3601 W. Sahara Ave., Las Vegas, 362-6268

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