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The Enabler: Vending machine caviar -- the high life on the go

December 07, 2012|By Jessica Gelt
  • Beverly Hills Caviar has installed three custom-built caviar vending machines at malls around Los Angeles, including this one at Burbank Town Center.
Beverly Hills Caviar has installed three custom-built caviar vending… (Jessica Gelt / Los Angeles…)

The holiday night-life season has splashed over the city like a bottle of freshly uncorked Champagne and the Enabler is feeling bubbly. So when she heard that Beverly Hills Caviar recently installed custom-built caviar vending machines around the city, she became giddy.

What better way to show up at a hot nightclub party than with a tin of caviar in her purse? She pictured herself locked in a bathroom stall with a little mother of pearl spoon, dipping into a $500, 1-ounce serving of Imperial River Beluga before heading back to the dance floor at Hyde, MyStudio or Bootsy Bellows. Of course, she would share and pass around the spoon. Perhaps she could keep a secret stash of blini in her wallet too.

Or she could just bring her vending-machine caviar to a holiday potluck and make everyone with a bread-crumb-covered casserole feel bad.

Of course she had to try out the machine immediately. Brian Scheiner, who owns Beverly Hills Caviar with his wife, Kelly, told her that of the three dispensers located in L.A.-area shopping malls, the one at the Burbank Town Center is particularly popular due to its proximity to the studios. So that's where she headed.

Scheiner also assured her that one of the best things about the machine is that it doesn't discriminate.

"It doesn't worry if you don't dress the part," he told the Enabler, who felt immediately relieved since she was wearing checkered Vans and a ripped hand-cut T-shirt emblazoned with the words, "Love is Lame." (Don't ask!)

The machine also won't try to up-sell you. And should you purchase the $10 jar of Wasabi Tobiko caviar, as the Enabler might have after she checked her bank statement, the machine won't look at you like you should try hanging out at Wetzel's Pretzels instead.

Still, she felt a little weird standing, credit card in hand, in front of the gleaming display while shoppers heading to Cinnabon gawked. What kind of a woman buys caviar from a machine in this economy?

"I'd rather eat the whole fish," grumbled one passerby.

"Nice! Next it'll be an escargot machine," said another. "Wait! They do have escargot in there!"

Yep, this machine sells escargot, $20 truffle salt ... and $32 caviar for your cat.


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