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July Food Frenzy: Vanilla Bake Shop, Red Mango, Craft, Osteria Mozza, Takami and MORE Open This Month

What's with July? Is it a safe month for opening a new restaurant because everyone's on vacation and by the time anyone gets back to town all the hiccups are smoothed out? Or is it because so many debuts have been delayed, many for months, that all of a sudden we have a glut of restaurant openings? Either way, July is the month to eat, friends. Here's a handy-dandy rundown of what's in store. Plan accordingly. Did we miss something? lay it on us, extra thick please.

July 10: Vanilla Bake Shop
We had some early Plywood for this little sweet shop back in January, with few breadcrumbs since then. In March, the owners told us that the shop will specialize in "classic and couture" layer cakes, along with cupcakes and old-fashioned icebox desserts like dirt cake and triple berry shortcake; all made from scratch. She also said the bakery would open in April. Eh, what are a few months for good dessert, right? [512 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310.458.6644, www.vanillabakeshop.com]

July 10: Red Mango Westwood
Another sweet debut, this time of the froyo variety. Did Pinkberry steal find inspiration from this South Korean frozen yogurt chain? Hard to say, but the side-by-side comparison does fuel a compelling debate. Then the taunts started, and one was downgraded to "chilly bliss." Now the first U.S. Red Mango store opens on a hot Tuesday afternoon, and we'll be right there for the taste test (if we don't get a sneak spoonful before). Oh, and we were just alerted that the store will serve FREE frozen yogurt on opening day from 4pm-6pm. Woohoo! [10942 Weyburn Ave., Westwood Village, www.redmangousa.com]

July 12: Craft
The day is finally almost here. We've been on the ColicchioWatch since last year. Craft was coming; then it wasn't. Then it was again. The pulling and tugging was almost too much to bear. We heard July 12, and he stuck to it. We took a look around. We heard from a server in training that it's "brutal." Oooo?they mean business. We likey. [10100 Constellation Blvd., www.craftrestaurant.com]

July 12: Bar Nineteen12
The Beverly Hills Hotel unveils a new bar, named for the year the hotel opened. Custom-designed barware, a water menu, a terrace overlooking the gardens and pool, a roaming bartender for tableside cocktail service, and "martini popsicles." Oh yea. We likey that, too. Bar food is of the black caviar and buckwheat blini or steak quesadilla variety. [9641 Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.276.2251]

Mid-July: Osteria Mozza
The other biggie on everyone's taste buds is the sister to Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton's pizzeria featured in every magazine, newspaper, and more blogs than we can type. It looks spiffy as hell. GM David Rosoff told us mid-July. We guessed July 16; he said "ish," if all goes as planned. [6602 Melrose Ave., 323.297.0100, www.mozza-la.com]

Mid-July: The Happy Ending Restaurant and Bar
From Mario Gudemi, Salvatore Aurora, and chef Matthew Gladstone, we have this cheeky-named spot in a former Acapulco's on Sunset. Gladstone calls it "global comfort food," and the website says it's a blend of a New York neighborhood bar and an "off the hook" Las Vegas club in a 10,000-square-foot space. We have no idea why the name, but there's a trend for naughty names these days, no? [7038 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood]

July 28: Takami Restaurant & Elevate Lounge
When we took a spin around the construction site of Takami, we were awed by the view. The renderings were tres cool, too. If it all comes together as planned, this 21st-floor, $4 million dollar restaurant and lounge will be one of those spots even Westsiders want to find. If they don't, better for those of us who like sushi, robata, cocktails and killer views. The date has been pushed back several times, but last time PR told July 28. [811 Wilshire Blvd., Downtown, www.takamisushi.com]

Maybe July: Bastide
No one in the Bastide camp will verify it, but a few weeks ago we checked in with PR and were told, "Yes. July." Today we chatted with exec chef Walter Manzke, who says "hopefully" July. It would be just like Joe Pytka to lead us on, wouldn't it? And then BAM! Bastide opens when we least expect it. [8475 Melrose Place, WeHo, 323.651.5950]

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