Do not cry for the lonely caviar vending machine. Though it is the subject of much ridicule, it is a piece of art in its own right. It’s a fitting reflection, if you will, of our own hubris, standing guard over the Burbank Town Centre Mall atrium where Santa himself — the bastion of opulence and excess — holds court.
I stood before the Beverly Hills Caviar machine at length on Black Friday, oblivious to the whirl of commerce all about me. Its soft, glowing snack tray lazily melted in hue from blue to purple to red to orange. It entranced me as it did a child of no more than 4 or 5, who longingly reached for its shelf of elite trinkets, mesmerized by their twinkle.
I ran my fingers across its cold, impossibly laser-smooth touch screen. Here your desires are laid bare in vibrant ochre sans serif. For the discerning palate, your $500-an-ounce Imperial River Beluga is ready for you, complete with mother-of-pearl spoon. If you’re like the jet-setters for whom the machine is designed, and you just need something quick on the go, you can have Wasabi Tobikko for a pittance of $15.