Ultralow threshold nanolasers have been sought after as power efficient light sources in photonic integrated circuits. Here a single-cell nanobeam laser with a nanoisland quantum well is proposed and demonstrated. Continuous operation at 1.5 mu m is achieved at room temperature with an ultralow lasing threshold of 210 nW in absorbed power. The size of the active medium is reduced to 0.7 x 0.25 x 0.02 mm(3) by removing the absorptive quantum well region surrounding the central cavity. Relatively thick (420 nm) InP slabs are employed to improve the thermal and mechanical characteristics. The nanoisland-based structures will provide a new platform to engineer fundamental light-matter interactions by controlling the size and the location of the nanoemitters, allowing the realization of highly efficient nanophotonic devices.