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.
Lisa Lampanelli [Photo: Palms]
Food has always been a struggle for comedian Lisa Lampanelli, the Queen of Mean, so much so that she had gastric sleeve surgery and lost a whopping 107 pounds. Now she's workshopping a new one-woman show, Skinny Bitch: NOT a Stand-up Comedy Show, intended for a Broadway run in 2014, where she talks about her struggle with food, men and body image, a side to Lampanelli few would guess exists. Until then, you can see her Saturday night when she returns to the Pearl at the Palms for a one-night show. Beforehand, she has a favorite restaurant in Vegas where you can almost always see her. Find out here where she dines, how she handles food now and more.
How often do you get to Las Vegas?
I come once a year for my show. The rest of the year I'm on the road to other places.
Do you remember the first time you came here?
I was working a competitor's casino and I was working the comedy club. When I was a comedy club performer, we could only eat for free at the employee cafeteria. At the time, I weighed 236 and I could really put those little desserts away. Now that I'm a big shot, I eat at real restaurants.
What are some of your favorite restaurants in Las Vegas? Any must-stop places when you come through?
I swear to you and I'm not even making it up — Simon. When you go, you should get the desserts. They make these Hostess snowballs and cotton candy in the magical land of Simon. I'm not even kidding. I make a reservation for 5 p.m. It's the only place that I go now.
Do people approach you when you're dining out?
They do sometimes and that's fine with me. I'm a minor celebrity at best.
I lost 107 pounds. I had gastric sleeve surgery so now when eat out I eat small amounts and you have to eat slow. It's nice eat slowly like you should.
Do you ever go out in Vegas to unwind after a show?
I used to when I was single. I was always looking to mingle. I was a hot 48 year old mess. I loved the Playboy Club. Everyone was hip and hot.
All my favorite places are either closed or have Parkinsons. My poison has always been food and men. Basically, unless I'm eating I'm not fun. I like to sit around and have a cigar. How pathetic is a 52-year-old party girl?
What's the first thing that shocked you in Las Vegas?
I don't know. I don't think anything really shocked me. There are so many stories you hear about Vegas that you know what you're going to see. I always feel like there's a big party I'm missing. No one's saying, "Come on, hang with us." It can feel lonely and creepy when you don't have a group of friends.
You lost a lot of weight. Congratulations. Any tips for keeping it when you're on the road?
It's great. We eat like normal folks but less. A couple bites of each is enough. Six bites that really taste good. We take a bunch home. We don't waste money. We have doggy bags for days.
I'd do it [gastric sleeve surgery] once a year if I had to. There were little tiny complications, but the good outweighs the bad. You live so much longer when you're fit.
It has nothing to do with looks or appearance. It's not a quick fix. I have to really work on it daily and stay on top of that. No one can escape that.
· All Coverage of Comedian Confidential [~ELV~]