More than 40,000 food fanciers flocked to the "Taste of L.A." restaurant fete last month in Santa Monica, where for about $4 a serving they could sample lobster cannelloni, duck tamales and goat-cheese lasagna from some of the area's trendiest eateries.
But the potential menu for a similar gastronomic extravaganza in Ventura proved a bit too skimpy.
A three-day "Taste of the Coast" food fair scheduled for Oct. 7-9 in Camino Real Park had to be canceled last week after city officials failed to get commitments from local restaurateurs.
The event, approved in concept by the City Council six months ago, was expected to draw between 30,000 and 50,000 visitors to sample the delicacies of at least 25 restaurants from Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.
"Sure, I'm disappointed," said Assistant City Manager Lauraine Brekke, who planned the event. "It's a successful formula in lots and lots of places, but we couldn't convince them it would work here."