The Dirtiest Dog in Town, Liberating Fourth of July Eats and Happy-hour Bubbly

Certainly an unsavory name for a street-food outfit, but Dirt Dog, the “Official Hot Dog of Los Angeles” has arrived at 8390 S. Rainbow Boulevard. When founder Tim Cam was a child, he and his brother were eager to try hot dogs that were being sold on the streets of L.A. Wrapped in bacon and topped with grilled onions, peppers and all the sauces, they were tempting, but the boys’ mother wasn’t going allow them to eat hot dogs that had dirt kicked up onto them from cars passing by. But some rules were meant to be broken, and soon they relished the dogs and jokingly began calling them dirt dogs. This was the inspiration for their street food, pacing at a notch higher. My pick is the “green” dog: a bacon-wrapped hot dog, smothered in zesty house-Dish and Tell Dirt Dog Marisa Finettimade chimichurri sauce, guacamole and topped with lime slice and bacon bits. For dessert, the horchata ice cream/churro combo is “off the leash.” Dirt Dog is now open.

I always encourage bending a few rules, or at least liberating one’s self from being told what to eat on what holiday (sort of). With that said, beginning July 4, Border Grill in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace will set aside Mondays to “Declare your independence from Tuesday tacos.” On Mondays you can indulge in unlimited tacos for $20. Also celebrating the red, white and blue is Pizza Rock in Green Valley Ranch Resort. Independence weekend specials include a Not Your Founding Father’s Root Beer Float with Captain Morgan Rum and a splash of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire. In addition, veterans and active military receive a 20 percent discount. Rí Rá in Mandalay Place will serve up a Yank Burger, a three-quarter-pounder of all-American beef, topped with American cheese and smoked bacon on a toasted sesame-seed bun, served with firecracker fries and choice of salad. At the Linq, join ameriCAN’s grand opening celebration from 7-9 p.m., followed by an open bar for—why not?—$17.76.

Finally, I cannot think of anything more celebratory than combining perhaps the greatest palate- and soul-pleasing marriage of all—bubbles and oysters. The 4-7 p.m. daily happy at Le Pho (353 Bonneville Ave., Suite 115, 702-382-0209) makes this happen with $1 Long Island blue point oysters and half bottle of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Champagne for $37. Whenever possible, chef-owner Khai Vu also reels in specialty oysters for $2.50, which include the “precious” Kusshi, the jaunty and naughty Naked Cowboy and the innovative Shigoku. Truly worth asking for, Shigokus are grown in bags attached to floats that ride the tide. Each time they get agitated, they use their muscles to close their shells. The result? A wonderfully firm flesh in a deep cup with a clean, briny taste. Just add bubbles.

Marisa Finetti savors with all five senses. Visit her blog, LoveAndRelish.com.

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