Saturday, February 15, 2020

Valentine's Day Lunch at Ja-Roen Thai Sushi.

Ja-Roen Thai Sushi

380 South Main Street
Monticello, UT, 84535

Phone: (435) 587-4000

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

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Valentine's Day, usually paired with a romantic dinner, but alas, some folks have to work during the dinner hours.  That was our situation this year, and we decided to have lunch out instead, at Ja-Roen Thai Sushi.   We didn't mind too much, as we knew that owner, Sam, and his son would take fine care of us.

We began with two appetizers, first Veggie Tempura (sweet potato, zucchini, onion rings, broccoli) in a crunchy tempura batter, served with a lightly sweetened dipping sauce.  Now if you're really looking for a small, but satisfying lunch, pair this with one of the many soup offerings available.  Our second appetizer was Thai Dumplings; a pork/veggie minced mixture wrapped in a soft and totally yummy wonton wrapper, steamed to absolute perfection.

As in the name, Thai Sushi, no meal is complete without ordering one of the many specialty sushi rolls.  California Roll paired well with the other dishes we chose; crab, avocado, cucumber and masago with accompanying pickled ginger and wasabi.  This roll is cut into eight sections, so four for each of us, and gone in a flash before the main dishes arrived.  So good!

BBQ Pork Noodle is served with rice noodles; it can come wet (in a soup broth), or dry (pork and noodles only).  The pork is very similar to Chinese Cantonese Char Siu which is cooked in a mixture of soy sauce, honey, brown sugar, rice wine, hoisin sauce, red bean curd, and Chinese five-spice powder.  We have been cravings this pork dish, since moving from the east coast, and here it was, just Thai style!

Gai Kua is similar to, again Chinese Cantonese Chow Ho Fun, except using Thai herbs and seasonings.  It normally comes with chicken mixed with lettuce and bean sprouts.  However, Sam remembered how we love seafood, so added shrimp and calamari (squid) to the mix.  It was so tempting to eat every little bite, but wait, there's more!

Sam had purchased enough elk meat to offer only four plates of Spicy Elk, and we snagged one!  The elk meat is sliced thin and so, so tender; paired with bell peppers, zucchini and green beans.  The brown sauce is rich in flavor, and the spiciness doesn't hit until swallowing.  It begins at the tip of the tongue and travels along the edges; white rice is served to help tame the spiciness.  If you enjoy elk meat and spicy heat, then make sure to order this when Ja-Roen has it in stock; you snooze, you lose!

No room for dessert, and we did have take home for a late night snack, or lunch the next day.

Traveling through Monticello, Utah?  Hungry for Asian cuisine?  Don't think you like Asian cuisine?  Stop in at Ja-Roen Thai Sushi, and become pleasantly surprised with this food adventure.

Mary Cokenour

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