Wednesday, December 13, 2023

The Future is Bright for Thai and Sushi.

 Ja-Roen Thai Sushi

 380 South Main Street

Monticello, UT, 84535

 Phone: (435) 587-4000







Roy, I, and several members of the San Juan County Economic Development and Visitor Services, were invited to Ja-Roen Thai Sushi Restaurant for a special taste testing.  Their newest sushi chef, Tom, who has seventeen years of experience under his knife belt, introduced us to some of his specialties.  


New Sushi Chef, Tom.

As we patiently waited, appetizers of crab rangoon and crispy egg rolls wetted our appetites.  These items have always been on the menu, and are popular favorites for all us OGs of the restaurant, and travelers.   


Egg Rolls

Crab Rangoon

Second course was a new salad edition, Kani Salad, made up of romaine lettuce with sliced grape tomatoes, radishes, shredded crab and fish roe.  The dressing was savory with a rich peanut flavor, and smooth texture.  While this will appear on the new menu, it can be ordered now by request.


Hot Jasmine Tea - a palate cleanser and soothing drink.

As we continue to wait, patiently, for our sushi, let me fill you in on other changes that Ja-Roen will be undergoing.  Two additional chefs will be joining the growing staff, and while the main focus will be Thai and sushi, a few Japanese and Chinese dishes will be added as well. I have begged owner, Waen Roll, for roast pork buns, and she has assured me that my wish will be coming true.  Oh my, here comes another dish to try before the sushi, Katsudon!  Now anyone who has read San Juan Record’s edition of May 3, 2023, and my article on Deep Fried Japanese – Part Two – Katsu, will know exactly what I am excited about.  I was so ecstatic, well, Roy stated that the staff began backing away and hiding all the sharp implements.  Yes, he was exaggerating, but deep-fried pork cutlet over fried rice with a sprinkle of a savory and smoky seasoning mix…order up, and you’re welcome!


Examples of California Roll, Tom-Tom Roll, Avocado Train and Salmon Fire Roll


Sushi time!  The rice used is a mixture of Japanese and jasmine creating a creamier texture than the typical sticky rice, that can sometimes be a bit on the dry side.  All sauces and condiments, including the wasabi, are house made and all have a creamy texture that coats the tongue, and enhances the taste.  Tom’s version of the California Roll contains crab and avocado with a coating of fish roe over the rice, and dollop of creamy house mayonnaise.  The Tom-Tom Roll, which we helped him name, has a center of avocado and cucumber, shredded crab encasing the rice, with the house mayonnaise and a smoky-sweet barbecue sauce drizzled over top.  The Avocado Train speaks for itself, with avocado inside and outside of the roll, cream cheese center stage, crab and tempura flakes.  The Salmon Fire Roll puts on a show as the individual pieces of this sushi roll are fire roasted, with crab and avocado.


California Roll creation begins.

California Roll

There is your tease of what is to come on the new sushi menu, but wait, there is much more.  With the new additions to staffing, Ja-Roen will be open seven days a week, and will now be serving breakfast!  The menu for this will be American based, and definitely a boon for the restaurant fares available to locals and travelers alike.  Due to the unavailability of liquor licenses within Monticello, a variety of non-alcoholic beers will be offered.  Ah, reservations are being taken, now, for Christmas and New Year’s, so get your table booked before you miss out!

Whether you are a wielder of restaurant quality aspen wood chopsticks, or luxury style, lacquered cherry wood, do your finger exercises to be ready for sushi consuming.  Best of luck wishes to the owners and staff of Ja-Roen Thai Sushi, and thank you for being a part of our community.

Current Main Menu Availability

Tempura Vegetables Appetizer

Pad Se Eew with Beef


Massaman Curry
Sweet and Sour Chicken


Mary Cokenour