Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Ja-Roen Thai Sushi Stays Strong and Delicious

Ja-Roen Thai Sushi

380 South Main Street

Monticello, UT, 84535

Phone: (435) 587-4000

Hours of Operation:  11am – 9pm; Monday thru Sunday

In September 2019, Sampas Janhom opened Ja-Roen Thai Sushi, in Monticello, UT, and the online reviews further his story.  Whether local or passing through, diners are still enjoying his Thai and Japanese specialties.  Take, for example, this review on Google, “One of the great surprises on our road trip. A very unsuspecting restaurant from the outside. When you walk in you wonder how you found the place. It’s a very eclectic place that’s hard to describe. But the food was absolutely spot on delicious. (In addition everything was Covid clean with disposable service where they did not take away from the delicious food).Not fancy but a great surprise almost in the middle of nowhere. Obviously great pride of ownership. Well worth a stop!”

Or, “Amazing, not enough stars. The food was so delicious I ate there once and I went back the next day. I work in the trucking industry and have traveled the US eating at every Thai Restaurant spot I can and this place is on my top 10. A hidden gem from all the other basic restaurant food they have in this small town. They cooked up some of the best Sweet and Sour and Cashew Nut I have ever had. Crisp vegetables, and multitude of flavor, just like good authentic Thai food should be. Worth the 1 mile walk I took from the other side of town at the motel I stayed at.”

Valentine’s Day of 2020, before Covid-19 made its dramatic debut, we enjoyed a special meal, and Sam made sure to spoil us rotten!  So, is it any wonder that for 2021, we found ourselves at Ja-Roen once again?  Since my husband had to work that evening, we were at the restaurant by 4:30pm, and were greeted with rousing shouts of “Welcome Roy and Mary, Happy Valentine’s Day”.  Sam loves to retell the story of how I was the first person he met, when scoping out Monticello for a restaurant, and I convinced him to do it.

By now, we thought we had the menu pretty well memorized, but noticed a couple of additions to the sushi roll choices; Alaskan King Crab Roll and Lobster Roll.  However, we had already determined we wanted our very favorite menu items for today.  Our appetizer, believe it or not, was not from the appetizer section; instead All American Dream Roll.  Tempura style soft shell crab, with tender baby asparagus and avocado, wrapped in rice and topped with shredded crab stick, tempura flakes and a light sauce.  

Our main meal choices, which we shared of course, were Pad Se Ewe; wide egg noodles (much different from the typical supermarket style) with egg, broccoli, meat (we chose beef), stir fried in a sweet soy sauce (and we asked for extra sauce, no problem!)  We absolutely love this dish as it reminds us of our adventures in Philadelphia’s Chinatown district, and scarfing down Chow Ho Fun.

Sweet and Sour was the second dish; tender meat (we chose chicken) pieces battered and deep fried to a crispy perfection, with chopped onion, bell pepper, tomato, cucumber, scallion and pineapple.  The sweet and sour sauce covers all, but is light in flavor, so does not overwhelm the meat or vegetables.  There is a choice of white or fried rice with this dish, and highly recommend the fried rice which has peas, carrots and lightly fried with soy sauce.

We only ate half of each dish, that way hubby could take the remaining halves for lunch during work.  Oh yes, I had a craving later on, but had to sustain myself with mere cheese and crackers; ho hum.

Hot Jasmine Tea

Now this left plenty of room for dessert!  We shared Fried Ice Cream; a ball of vanilla ice cream, battered and deep fried; topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and a cherry (I snagged that baby fast!).

Even though the weather had been unfriendly and dreary, we had a blast this Valentine’s Day. We were eating food we enjoyed, in a friendly atmosphere, and with an owner who appreciates, not just our business, but we as people.  We were all laughing so loudly, people kept turning to stare at us!  By the time we left at 6pm, the restaurant was half full, and take-out orders were steadily being called in and picked up.

Ja-Roen Thai Sushi is a restaurant that stood strong during the pandemic, and refused to go under, as many other restaurants sadly have done.  Sampas Janhom, and his son who works diligently with him, made sure that folks could still continue to get freshly made Thai and Japanese foods.  Thank you guys, you are awesome people!

Sampas Janhom, Owner

Still have not tried this restaurant out?  Well if it is a special invitation you are waiting for, here it is; “Go try it out now, and make your taste buds and stomach feel happy!”

Mary Cokenour



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