Laura Smith brought the Orient to the Grand Strand.
Step into Indo Asian Bistro & Sushi and the aromas of the exotic ingredients will tempt you to try a different dish on each visit.
The menu is predominately Thai and Japanese, but the restaurant also represents Indonesia, Vietnam, Korea and Malaysia.
Smith wants her clientele to be able to taste diverse traditional Asian dishes, all under one roof.
Winning several times in the 2017 national Sushi Smack Down competition, she is pleased that “customers who have had the best sushi in the world come to this restaurant” for hers.
Smith went up against some of the best sushi chefs in the country and grins as she says, “The public voted and I won a lot.”
What sets Smith’s sushi apart is literally, her secret sauce.
Most sushi just adds vinegar to the rice, but Smith’s personal recipe is what makes her sushi famous.
There are a dozen sushi roll choices on the eatery’s menu, from the J.B. Roll that is salmon, cream cheese, scallions, avocado and sesame seeds to the Hawaiian Roll which is tempura style with salmon, cream cheese, pineapple, coconut flakes, scallions and asparagus with a sweet pineapple coconut sauce drizzled on top.
At 4620 Dick Pond Road, Myrtle Beach, the phone number at the restaurant is 843-691-9557.
Smith suggests making reservations for parties of 10 or more.
Hours are 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Monday – Friday, and 4-10 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
The restaurant’s website is www.indothairestaurant.com and the Facebook page is Indo Asian Bistro and Sushi Bar.
Smith learned to cook by necessity, and continued cooking by choice.
One of seven children in Indonesia, she cooked for her siblings who stayed behind in their village while their mother went to the city to work.
“I had no choice, I had to learn to cook and find my own flavors and ingredients,” she said.
At 17, she joined her mother in the city and finished her education, immigrating into the United States in 1991.
Smith started out in a restaurant in Florida where she worked her way up from bussing tables, to serving, to cooking.
“I loved it,” she said about the experience. “I watched and learned because I love cooking and finding my own recipes with different ingredients.
“I’m a fast learner. I can learn from a distance and then do it myself.”
Thai lunches, that include your choice of chicken, beef, tofu or added shrimp or scallops, include Red Curry, Mixed vegetables, Seafood Fried Rice and a Pad Thai Combo.
Hibachi lunch dishes include vegetables, shrimp, scallops, chicken and filet mignon.
Chef’s lunch suggestions offer the sushi lunch combo and Ayam Goreng which is half a chicken fried Indonesian style with your choice of potatoes or rice.
Chef’s suggestions also include Pad Ke Mow, which are wide rice noodles sautéed with a special homemade basil sauce and vegetables. That includes your choice of meat or added shrimp or scallops.
The dinner menu starts with soups, salads and appetizers such as Tom Ka Kai which is chicken with coconut milk, chili paste, lemon grass, mushrooms, peppers kafir leaves and lime juice.
The Chicken Lettuce Wrap, Vegetarian Samosa, Sesame Chicken Wings and Nam Sod, a Thai salad with chicken, shrimp, ginger, cucumbers, onions, line juice vinaigrette and peanuts are also on that starter menu.
Entrees, such as Kai Pad Num Prig Pao, which is stir fried chicken with vegetables topped with a touch of white wine and whole roasted peanuts, come with a choice of beef, chicken or tofu with added shrimp or scallops optional.
Thai noodle dishes and Thai curry dishes are favorites, and there are always the Indo Specialties to choose from.
Those include Keang Nea which is a center cut of filet mignon topped with homemade Massaman sauce, exotic herbs and sautéed with avocado, portabella mushrooms, asparagus and potatoes.
Sizzling Duck, Coco Shrimp, Seafood Mordin, Salmon LaBamba and Chicken Volcano are other specialties, with a favorite being Daning Rendang.
That dish is Indonesian - style roasted beef in a thick, spicy curry and served well-done with lettuce, cucumber, bean spouts and the restaurant’s special sour cream.
A take-out menu, a full happy hour menu – with the same sized portions as during a regular meal – and a full drink menu round out the options at Indo Asian Bistro and Sushi.
The restaurant also offers catering for any event.
“People who have eaten authentic European food in other countries come here to eat,” Smith said.