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Grocery shopping. Yup, the idea usually gives us a big yawn, too. But we’ve discovered some secrets that make visiting these shops in person worthwhile. Because you haven’t lived until you’ve had a robot make you tea. Here, five grocery-store secrets you should know.

Robot Tea at 365 by Whole Foods Market

Think of Silverlake’s just-opened 365 by Whole Foods Market as the regular Whole Foods’ less expensive little sister. The real surprise, though, is the TeaBot, an automated machine that lets you customize your loose tea blend (we love a little gunpowder green tea, rooibos and hibiscus flowers) from your phone or iPad. Your tea is then funneled into a cup. We kinda like this whole robot thing.

2520 Glendale Blvd.; 323-378-3891 or

RELATED: 16 Signs You’re Turning into a Foodie (It May Be Too Late)

Exclusive Ice Cream at Target

This is an artisanal-ice-cream town, but even the snobbiest of foodies can be seen ducking into this chain retailer for one of the handful of Ben & Jerry’s flavors mixed especially for Target. Don’t miss Peanut Butter World, the milk-chocolate ice cream with swirls of peanut butter and chocolate cookie.

Locations here.

Cure-All Tonics at Erewhon

You know how you might speak to a pharmacist about what over-the-counter meds to take for a cold or headache? Here you just sidle up to this health food grocer’s in-house juice bar, describe your symptoms and the staffer will recommend a tonic or hot tea. Feel a cold coming on? Order the warm and inflammation-fighting turmeric-laced Golden Latte.

Locations here.

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Blueberries at Costco

We know: You’re thinking, I don’t have room to store a pallet of toilet paper from this big-box discount store. But not everything’s sold in bulk--come here for blueberries (sold in small quantities and cheaper than at regular grocers) and a gourmet aged-cheese section that also sells reasonably small portions. Suddenly, you're the hostess with the mostess.

Locations here.

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Fresh Riced Cauliflower at Trader Joes

This new item has customers literally fighting over the last bag (stores limit themselves to selling one case a day, and customers can only buy two bags max). It’s fresh cauliflower made into rice, and it dazzles diners with its light mouthfeel, nutritional content and the fact that it eliminates 200 calories from a dish of paella. Your best chance to score a bag of this cult veggie is to shop at 11 a.m., just after workers have put it into the refrigerated veggie case.

Locations here  

Related: Every Factoid You Should Know If You Live in L.A.

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