Abhi Sainju has introduced Birmingham-area diners to whimsically creative sushi rolls like the Wham Bam Birmingham, spicy momo dumplings from his native Nepal, Tibetan thukpa noodle soup, and other flavors from throughout Southeast Asia and Hawaii.

Now the popular restaurateur, who owns the pan-Asian establishments Abhi Eatery and Bar and Maro, is opening a third concept in Mountain Brook Village. Surf Hound Surf Club and Restaurant, slated to open in late summer, pays tribute to surfing communities around the world with a 1960s and 1970s vibe.

At Surf Hound, Sainju’s kitchen broadens the origins of the top-quality food he has delivered since opening his catering/pop-up business, Everest Sushi, in 2013 and collaborating on his first restaurant, Bamboo on 2nd, in 2015.

A menu is not available yet; look for updates on Instagram (@surf.hound) or the website.

But a news release announcing the planned opening says the menu will include hamburgers and nachos—done in Abhi’s distinctive style—as well as freshly caught grilled fish like what the Nepalese native enjoyed as a youth while visiting the beaches of Thailand. Frozen drinks and tropical libations—both non-alcoholic and “leaded”—will dominate the Surf Hound’s drink menu.

“Utilizing local ingredients and purveyors, Sainju and his team developed a crowd-pleasing menu that caters to a diverse palate, whether that be young families after a soccer game, coworkers connecting over happy hour, or couples on a date night,” the release says.

Born in Katmandu, Nepal, and initially educated in India, Sainju moved to Birmingham to pursue a culinary career through his sushi pop-up business. After helping launch Bamboo on 2nd as executive chef and co-owner, he opened the original location of his namesake restaurant at The Summit shopping center in 2017. In addition to sushi, its offerings featured a broad array of Asian-style noodle soups, snacks, skewers of grilled meat, and plates like the slow-cooked Indonesian beef dish, rendang.

For several years he also operated a stand at the Pizitz Food Hall selling momo dumplings and Vietnamese-style banh mi sandwiches.

Sainju opened the current Abhi’s in 2019, later closing the Summit location. Surf Hound is in the downstairs portion of the two-story building where Abhi’s is now located.

Maro, which opened last year in the rebuilt Lane Parke development, is billed as a casual eatery. The menu includes some dishes from its older siblings, like Abhi’s delicious tako (octopus) salad and poke bowls, as well as unique plates like pork adobo and the Laotian-style rice noodle dish, khao soi with tofu.

“I’m excited to bring our community something new with Surf Hound,” Sainju says in the news release. “We have created a casual, beautiful place that invites people to come as they are—while still having access to a great meal. Surf Hound taps into who we all become at the beach: laid back, relaxed, happy, and most importantly, in the moment.”

In prior interviews, Sainju says his initial inspirations were his mother’s cooking and street food in India. He started making his childhood favorites to reconnect with those flavors, then expanded to other foods he loved. For many Birmingham fans, it was their first taste of dishes like Nepalese curry, and culinary variations on familiar Asian snacks, like Filipino-style lumpia spring rolls.

“I wanted to do something Birmingham has never seen,” Sainju told me. “I wanted to be the first to introduce flavors from all over Asia. I wanted authenticity, not by bringing in a chef, but by learning it myself.”

Surf Hound Surf Club and Restaurant (downstairs) and Abhi Eatery and Bar, 2721 Cahaba Road in Mountain Brook Village.

Maro, 361 Rele Street in Mountain Brook Village.