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Global cuisine and scented (!) bowling balls

Sprinkled among the detail shops and flooring outlets of South Decatur is a buffet of surprising cultural treasures — from a natural park to a Mexican restaurant, a bowling supply to an international supermarket

1. CHARLIE FRIAS PARK

With its drought-tolerant design, remnants of the corner’s natural topography and hangout perks such as a dog park, this 32-acre spot feels like a collaboration between Mother Nature, Save Our Streams and the local kids who rode their bikes here in the ’70s. 4801 S. Decatur Blvd., 702-455-8200, clarkcounty.gov

2. NUTRITION RUSH

Like most of Nutrition Rush’s 16 locations throughout the valley, this one is strategically located adjacent to a gym (24 Hour Fitness, in this case). Post-workout, hit up a bodybuilding clerk for advice on which smoothie or supplement works best for your bod. 4985 W. Tropicana Ave. #103, 702-220-7874, nutrition-rush.com

3. HAYNES BOWLING SUPPLY

David Haynes opened this store a decade ago to round out his career as a professional bowler for ball manufacturer Storm. Besides custom-drilling holes in balls (some of which are scented like candy — no joke), the shop sells everything else for the serious bowler. 5255 S. Decatur Blvd. #102, 702-982-2255, haynesbowlingsupply.com

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4. RHYTHM KITCHEN

Mmmm … gumbo. I could stop there, but I’ll continue: catfish fillets, jambalaya, New Orleans fried oysters, crawfish étoufféé. All that and a sleeping porch, too! That’ll come in handy after you and your honey polish off a bottle of Jolivet on half-off Monday Wine Night. 6435 S. Decatur Blvd., 702-767-8438, rhythmkitchenlv.com

5. PHAT PHRANKS

Frank Miranda is from SoCal. His wife, Southern New Mexico. Combine the two influences and you get hearty fare with a saucy twist. Make sure to order the Hatch chili red sauce, a smoky splash of enchantment that betters anything on the menu, including dessert. 4850 W. Sunset Road #120, 702-247-6528, phatphranks.com

6. HALLOWEENMART

Owner Ann Siegl says it’s easy to keep a costume shop hopping year-round in Vegas. She consolidated the former chain into one location and caters to exotic entertainers, tourists and others in need of fishnet stockings and Venetian masks — not to mention the Halloweeners. 6230 S. Decatur Blvd. #101, 702-740-4224, halloweenmart.com

7. PUTTER’S BAR & GRILL

This comfy happy hour joint — one of nine in the valley — is more than just chilled martinis and house cocktails named after sports plays. It’s got a full, Italian-influenced
menu with bar fare even this plant-eater can love (hello, veggie Stromboli!).  5750 S. Decatur Blvd., 702-222-9375, puttersvegas.com

8. INTERNATIONAL MARKETPLACE

Strolling through International Marketplace, you tour the world through each region’s gastro-exports — Italian pasta, Japanese tea, Turkish delight. The mega-store’s preponderance of Asian foods and sweets speaks volumes about our own tastes, as does the absence of a French aisle! 5000 S. Decatur Blvd., 702-889-2888 

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