Rainbow Boulevard Is the New Chinatown

Taste all the flavors of a new culinary hot zone.

Described by those in the know as “the new Chinatown,” the eclectic expanse of restaurants that stretches along South Rainbow Boulevard touches a variety of flavors, cultures and cuisines. Here are five we love right now.

Photography by Anthony Mair

Rib-eye pot from Pot Tea Social House

Pot Tea Social House

Cuisine: Taiwanese

When Wendy Hsu and Kara Chu, co-owners of Pot Tea Social House, opened their simple and approachable eatery in 2014, they were able to make the lauded claim of being “first to market.” As the city’s lone Taiwanese hot pot restaurant specializing in individual and customized portions, guests are able to explore a new region of Asian cooking. Chu’s low-sodium pork-bone marrow broth simmers daily for eight hours and serves as the perfect base for the meat, seafood and a bounty of vegetables thrown into each pot. Accompanying teas are imported from Taiwan and are brewed daily, handcrafted for each guest, with myriad options. To boba or not to boba? That is the question! Pot Tea gives new meaning to have-it-your-way dining. 7815 S. Rainbow Blvd., Suite 102, 702-749-9499

Dirt Dog

A delicious assortment of fries from L.A. original Dirt Dog.

Cuisine: L.A. street food

Looking for the perfect excuse to open in Las Vegas, L.A. staple Dirt Dog, jumped at the chance to take a space on burgeoning Rainbow Boulevard. “We saw a great opportunity to get into a newer community that is growing,” says Dirt Dog CEO Timothy Cam. “We saw low risk but high reward as the community continues to develop.” The specialty here is the House Dog, paying homage to its L.A. roots, wrapped in bacon. Toppings such as onions, bell peppers and red peppers are cooked in bacon Thousand Island sauce and the bun is lathered in green chile spread. This gourmet street meat is then finished with ketchup, mayo, mustard and bacon bits. Fries also get glorious treatment in various incarnations such as garlic and chili. Be on the lookout for menu extensions such as tacos, agua frescas, raspados, ceviche, street fruit and tamales in the coming months, as well as a second location at Grand Bazaar Shops on the Strip. 8390 S. Rainbow Blvd. Suite 100, 702-550-4682; dirtdogla.com

Goong Korean BBQ

Cuisine: Korean

Much like Seoul, Goong Korean BBQ is modern and fun. Grills built into every table cook up delicate cuts of wagyu as the beer flows. Ordering is made easy thanks to preset suggestions based on group size—or brave the more adventurous waters and select à la carte. Meat, meat and meat is what you will find here. 7729 S. Rainbow Blvd, 702-979-9118

The Noodle Man

Cuisine: Chinese

Oodles of handcrafted noodles is what you will find at The Noodle Man, where it’s impossible to not end every meal in a carb coma. Skilled pullers work throughout the day, aggressively rolling, stretching, twisting and, sometimes, cutting dough. Boiled in vats and then piled with toppings and spices such as braised pork, shredded chicken and beef brisket, this is many steps beyond the Americanized version of Chinese food we have all come to know and love. 6870 S. Rainbow Blvd., Suite 101, 702-823-3333

The Sparklings

Cuisine: Eclectic

Sometimes American, sometimes Italian, always interesting, The Sparklings is the jewel box of the Rainbow dining scene, characterized that way due to its sparkly interior with chandeliers, plush seating and exposed industrial finishes. While it may not fall under Asian cuisine—as many on the boulevard are trending—The Sparklings, opened in 2013, is here to remind us that when it comes to dining in Las Vegas, there’s no shame in ordering zucchini sticks alongside shrimp tempura and mushroom pasta and bacon and date wrapped meatballs. 8310 S. Rainbow Blvd., Suite 100, 702-293-5003; sparklingslv.com