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Desert Companion

Streetwise: Colorful Rainbow


Dirt Dogs
Photography by Brent Holmes

Dirt Dog's dogs.

Enough of your lowered expectations — this once unpromising stretch of road is filled with surprises

Let’s get urban-planning honest here: South Rainbow Boulevard will never make the National Scenic Byway list. But between the 215 Beltway and Wigwam Avenue, there’s a surprisingly diverse mix of places to check out in what 10 years ago — and sometimes 10 months  — was desert caliche. Let’s look at some new surprises and old familiars along the route.


1. The Noodle Man

A worthy contender to Chinatown’s culinary hegemony. Watching handcrafted, knife-carved noodles fly into roiling vats is just a prelude to the chop-sticking delicious savory bowls served. 6870 S. Rainbow Blvd., 702-823-3333


2. PigTails & Pompadours


Ladies and gents alike can get their hair done stylishly in this cool boutique. Va-va-voom pinup décor sets the tone. 6965 S. Rainbow Blvd.,


3. Green Valley Shoe Repair

Shoe repairIn a disposable consumer culture, it’s somehow reassuring that you can give your fine leather pumps, boots and wingtips extra years of life. Peek into the astounding back room — it’s an actual factory manned by professional shoemakers. 7835 S. Rainbow Blvd.,

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4. Goong Korean BBQ

The interior is extraordinary for its suburban setting. The wide array of banchan dishes — complimentary sides like kimchee and fresh greens — is eye-poppingly gorgeous and adds to the grill-it-yourself experience. 7729 S. Rainbow Blvd., 702-979-9118


5. Gelatology

Italian-style ice cream finds its apotheosis at this locals’ fave. Flavors range from classic lemon and chocolate to adventurous combinations like pear-gorgonzola. Even foie gras makes the mix now and then. 7910 S. Rainbow Blvd. #110,


6. The Butcher Block

One of the city’s best purveyors of high-quality viands and exotic foodstuffs has a brand-new space. If you need dry-aged Wagyu prime rib, whole pheasant, rattlesnake tidbits and beyond, head here. Chop-chop! 7965 S. Rainbow Blvd.,


7. Windmill Library

Large and window-lined, this library branch is an environmentally friendly building that earned a LEED Gold certification. It hosts innovative programs for kids, and there are music appreciation clubs and improv comedy nights for adults. It’s a cultural watershed for the Southwest Valley. 7060 W. Windmill Lane, 702-507-6030


8. The Sparklings

A relatively upscale casual eatery that somehow operates under the radar of local gastronauts. The interior is eclectic and pretty, not Vegasy at all. The menu is Italianish, with forays into gastropubby fare. 8310 S. Rainbow Blvd.,


9. Adventure Pet Resort 

Sure, Las Vegas is the number one hotel destination for humans — but what about our four-legged friends? Fluffy and Fido can enjoy deluxe vacations at this boarding resort that includes private suites and fun indoor play areas. 8370 S. Rainbow Blvd.,


10. Dirt Dog

Go veggie, dawg, at this L.A. outpost. Stop in for multiculti frankfurters of soy extraction in flavors like chimichurri and teriyaki. The roasted corn side with cotija, cilantro and chili powder is a spicy must. Meat links available, too. 8390 S. Rainbow Blvd. #100,

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