This study demonstrates a room-temperature ultraviolet GaN/Al nanorod (NR) metal laser with an optimized sidewall. A wet-chemical etching process with potassium hydroxide was used to control the GaN NR sidewall angle and polish the NR surface. The lasing action was observed near a wavelength of 365 nm with a low threshold power density of 5.2 mJ/cm2. The high-quality factor (Q) surface plasmon lasing modes were characterized with experiments and three-dimensional finite-element method simulations. We also studied the optical modes in GaN metal-coated NR with and without an Al layer and verified the metal layer is necessary for high-Q resonant modes.