For the exotic quarry known as vanilla, explorers have braved the waves of the South Pacific and scoured the orchid plantations of Papantla. But starting tomorrow, they’ll just head to Santa Monica. That’s where Vanilla Bake Shop is opening its doors. Known on the party circuit for posh cupcake towers and their liberal use of crushed Nielsen-Massey Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans, bakers Amy and Jeremy Berman have a new, boutiquey spot with cotton candy pink walls, damask wallpaper, white chandeliers, and dark wood floors. And there’s substance to back up their style. Using Belgian chocolates and farmers market ingredients, they make cupcakes like Meyer lemon raspberry and banana chocolate chip in regular and baby sizes (some even come stuffed with filling!), fancy-pants layer cakes (espresso milk, passion fruit cream) and homey icebox desserts (Dirt cake, banana pudding). Eating your way through the rotating menu is the only way you’ll find your favorites. Just embrace the thrill of the hunt. Vanilla Bake Shop, 512 Wilshire Boulevard, at Fifth Street, Santa Monica (310-458-6644 or vanillabakeshop.com).