Starting now, we've enlisted comedians, some based here and others who spend their time on the road and come through Vegas, to share their recommendations on great places to dine in Sin City for a feature dubbed Comedian Confidential.
As early as the age of 6, George Wallace knew he wanted to be a comedian. After a short stint in the advertising business, Wallace left and began to write for The Redd Fox Show while still performing standup comedy. A few American Comedy Award "Best Stand Up Comedian" nominations later and one win, and Wallace emerged in 2004 as the headlining star of his own show at Flamingo Las Vegas for a 30-day run. Wallace was so successful that his contract was extended indefinitely. He performs Tuesday through Saturday at The Flamingo Showroom at Flamingo Las Vegas at 10 p.m. Here he shares his favorite places to eat in Las Vegas.
Where do you enjoy eating when you're not working?
The five restaurants I enjoy in Las Vegas are:
1. Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Las Vegas. Without a doubt, the best place to eat and drink for pleasure or business. The environment is the best in the city and the view of the dancing waters across the street at the Bellagio is second to none in Sin City.
2. Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill, located in Caesars Palace. OMG!
3. El Pollo Loco, located down the street.
5. M & M Soul Food Kitchen on Charleston and Valley View
What dishes are most memorable?
At Mon Ami Gabi, my favorite is the strip steak, steak Roquefort and their peppercorn sauce, served with pommes frites. They also have the best Bananas Foster Crêpe in Nevada: rich vanilla ice cream and bananas in foster sauce.
At Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill, it's the 22-ounce bone-in chipotle-glazed Southwestern rib-eye. Shut the front door. The smoked chile collard greens are also exceptional and the toasted coconut layer cake served with coconut crème Anglaise is the best in America; it just makes you wanna slap somebody!
El Pollo Loco, the cheapest of them all, but this is when I know an $8 meal can be just as good and healthy as a hundred-dollar meal. Y'all know I came to Vegas for 30 days, which turned into 60 days, then 90 days and now I'm in my ninth year. What a blessing. So you know I'm a certified billionaire. I said that to say this. I doesn't matter how much money you have or where you go to eat. The proof is in the puddin'. It's the taste of the food that makes your palette go, "OMG, that was really good." El Pollo Loco is for everybody.
Why? Because it's simple, tasty and damn good. I always get the #2...three pieces of chicken with rice in a black soup bowl with pinto beans and extra bean juice on top of the rice. Then I go to the condiments table and add the pico de gallo sauce, then add onions and mix it all in with the beans and rice. Mix it up like a stew. Always get three slices of lemon to squeeze on your chicken for a little extra kick. OMG! Then find you a seat and sit your ass down. Wheeewww — that chicken is so good, another chicken will eat that chicken.
OK...now let me get back up on my high horse. Ferraro's on Paradise. If you like good Italian food, this is the place. Family operated with friendly service. This authentic style restaurant is good for lunch and dinner. Everything is good from the meatballs to the wines.
??M & M Soul Food Kitchen on Charleston and Valley View is another favorite. We're talking homemade Southern cooking from scratch. I've been going there since it opened. When you've had enough of everything else, it's always good to go home. It's a very welcoming atmosphere. Not a hole in the wall, but a nice clean restaurant. My favorite is the braised short ribs. I've had quite a few dishes there. The fried chicken, the oxtails and the cat fish are all like Momma's. Make sure you get a glass of good old fashion Muddy Water (an Arnold Palmer) to wash it all down.
One great thing about Las Vegas...we have as many great restaurants as we have days of the year to dine at.
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George Wallace [Photo: Courtesy]