Caviar - from a vending machine

Why order fresh caviar from a nice restaurant when for the same amount of money you can eat caviar from a machine in a crowded mall?

Caviar-vending machines have made their debut in malls in the Los Angeles area.

The machines, which also sell truffles and escargots, are in the Westfield Century City, Westfield Topanga and Burbank Town Centre malls.

The company behind the machines, Zagat, announced that the machines were being installed ''just in time for Black Friday'', which referred to the traditional post-Thanksgiving Day retail sales.

Shoppers can buy as much as 28 grams of Imperial River Beluga Caviar for $US500 ($A484), according to Zagat.

In a Facebook post, the company describes the machines as ''a unique caviar boutique'' offering ''a large selection of the world's finest selection of caviar, truffles, escargots, bottarga [dried roe], blinis, oils, mother of pearl plates and spoons, gift boxes and gourmet salts''. GNE