I'm just throwing this out there.....have you thought about a food truck? It's not a sit down restaurant of course but,
A) it's a way to get your name and cuisine out there
B) create a following
C) less investment
D) very trendy in cities, corporate towns, military bases and college scenes
When we travel to the coast, they are all over with huge lines. The taco truck here on base is only open 5 hours a day but busy the entire time. The BBQ truck is constantly busy as well. Some of the best food I've had has come off a truck. It may be something to think about.