Our food reviewer finds something to like at 5 new restaurants

The restaurant business is tough at the best of times, but opening during a pandemic, when diners often couldn’t even enter your restaurant? That levels up the difficulty to a mind-boggling degree. Several Sacramento eateries whose opening plans collided with a historic crisis have waded into the fray, trying to build a customer base through word of mouth, takeout and delivery.

Some newcomers have done well with casual, focused menus, including street food like tacos and other items well adapted to takeout. Madar Afghan Fusion Street Food — the area’s first to focus on Afghan and Uzbeki street food — was in the works for eight months. The Roshan siblings’ new restaurant is a tribute to their mom’s home cooking (the name means Mother), with dough made from scratch to their mother’s specifications for their bolani (filled flatbread) and tandoor-baked samosas — a popular Uzbeki street food, according to brother

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