Gourmet goods on demand in LA
LA’s three new caviar ATMs each contain about $50,000 worth of fine gourmet products. (Caroline Pardilla)
Beverly Hills Caviar came to the rescue of harried holiday shoppers when it installed luxury vending machines in three major Southern California malls.
LA’s first caviar ATMs debuted last week on Black Friday, the notoriously frenzied shopping day after Thanksgiving. Now those on the hunt for a Christmas gift that doesn’t entail searching through overstocked stores or standing in long queues can hop over to Burbank Town Center, Westfield Century City or Westfield Topanga for a hassle-free purchase of the perfect present for the person who already has it all.
The machines, which each contain about $50,000 worth of fine gourmet products and are monitored by three security cameras, were built with specific temperature, lighting and oxygen levels to keep the caviar fresh. In addition to offering more than two dozen types of caviar -- if the rare $500-per-ounce Imperial River Beluga is too much of a credit card buster there are wallet-friendlier American caviars for under $50 -- customers also have a choice of decadent items including gourmet salt, mother of pearl caviar spoons and white truffle oil. There is even caviar for pampered pets as well as luxury feeding bowls for them to eat out of.
Although the automated caviar boutiques have already attracted their share of caviar connoisseurs, foodies and chefs, they are also equipped to cater to impulse buyers. Each purchase of $30 or more comes with a complimentary metal spoon for those who want to enjoy their caviar on the spot, and the caviar tins are contained in a pre-chilled insulated box which gives the customer a three-hour window to get it into a refrigerator.