The Best Of

07/11/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

People always think I'm an expert on everything. Which I guess makes sense because I am sort of perfect. But seriously, I get questions all the time. Where should I eat sushi in New York? Where should I take a yoga-obsessed Venice girl out on a date? What's a good coffee shop that's hip but quiet enough to write in? Do you know of a fun gallery in Berlin? I've never even been to Berlin!! Don't you people have Google??

I mean, don't get me wrong. I'm flattered that people think I'm a fountain of information. And I sort of get it. I mean, as my boyfriend can vouch, I might be the pickiest person in the world. Although, I prefer the term "refined". And the combination of having refined taste and being economically cautious (though some people would call it cheap) does sort of make me, by necessity, a fountain of information. So consider yourselves lucky to be in on my Best Of list, in no particular order:

Best Hotel Bar:
The Whiskey Bar at the Sunset Marquis
1200 Alta Loma Road West Hollywood, CA 90069

Best Ice Bar:
Absolut IceBar London
31-33 Heddon Street, Mayfair, London, W1B 4BN
United Kingdom +44 20 7287 9192

Best People Watching: Campari gallery events
Sign up at for invites

Best Sushi: Matsuhisa
(Just tell them Chaparang sent you.)
129 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211 (310) 659-9639

Best Place to Go with No Plans: Paris

Best Make-up Counter: Dior at Neiman Marcus, Beverly Hills. Ask for Grace Anh

Best Nail Salon: CT Nails III
(Make sure it's CT Nails III. The place up the street has a similar name and it would be a travesty if you went there instead -- trust me.)
7868 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

Best Hair Stylist: Travis at Shorty's Barbershop (call in advance, he gets booked up fast)
745 North Fairfax, West Hollywood, CA 90046 (323) 297-0554

Best Bikini Wax (also the cheapest): Skincare by Lidia
8801 Gregory Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90211 (310) 246-1892

Best Florist: Flowers Wholesale
8032 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046 (323) 656-3077

Best Risotto in the Middle of the Night: Supper
156 E 2nd St., New York, NY 10009 (212) 477-2732 (cash only)

Best Place to go Home with a Hipster
: The Bar
(Be weary of people who call this place "neighborhood bar". They are not from around these parts.)
5851 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028

Best French Fries: Melrose Bar & Grill (get 'em with bbq sauce) 8826 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (310) 278-3684

Best Martini: Lavender Gimlet at Bar Chloe
1449 Second St. Santa Monica, CA 90401 (310) 899-6999

Best Late Night Snack: Pinches Tacos
8200 West Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90046

Best Falafel: Johnny Bennin
#4 Tchernichovski St., Tel Aviv, ISRAEL

Best Steak Sandwich: Petrossian
(They also have the best Arnold Palmer) for locations

Worst Place to Take Children on a Picnic: Grey Gardens
(Sorry, Aunt Nora, but it pretty much traumatized us for life and Anna's convinced she saw a ghost.)

Craziest Restaurant Decor:
Ale Gloria by Magdy Gessler
(If you can't make it to Warsaw, just go to the website or google image it.)

Best Museum: Tate Modern
Bankside, London SE1 9TG

Best Non Traditional Dim Sum: Yuautacha
15 Broadwick St, London, W1F 0DL
United Kingdom, +44 20 74948888

Best Gourmet Thai: Cafe Talesai
9198 Olympic Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 310-371-9345

Best Homestyle Thai: Cholada Malibu
(Also great for celebrity sightings)
18763 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265 (310) 317-0025

Best Chinese Food: House of Nan King
919 Kearny St., San Francisco, CA 94133, (415) 421-1429

Best Fried Fish Sandwich
: Malibu Fish & Seafood (they also have amazing salmon pate)
25653 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265 (310) 456-3430

Best Fresh Juice
: Lemon Honey Juice at John's Garden
3835 Cross Creek Road, Malibu, CA 90265 (310) 456-8377

Best Italian Delivery: Il Forno Caldo
(If you remember how good the bread was at Tivoli in the Palisades, then you won't need any selling on this place.)
9705 South Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210 (310) 777-0040

- Maia Harari