Delicious Lao Cooking: Spicy Joi’s

Over the weekend, Jen and I planned to hike Mt. Diablo in Concord, CA. We arrived in Concord a little before noon and decided to grab lunch before embarking on what would be a rather ambitious hike. We were set on eating South East Asian Cuisine and stumbled upon Spicy Joi’s Bahn Mi x Lao Street Food.

The Bahn Mi from Spicy Joi’s


Spicy Joi’s can be a bit difficult to locate. The joint is located at a large plaza inside of Rocklin Crawlfish and they seem to share the same space. There a large lot so parking will be plentiful. Concord is about 50 minutes away from San Francisco without traffic.

The Menu and Ordering

Spicy Joi’s recently opened up and their menu is quiet small but filled with delicious options. There is a selection of different Bahn Mi sandwiches, Lao style papaya salad, stick rice, skewers, and other various street food style options. Since this was our first time here, Jennifer and I decided to order the Lao Sausage and stick rice combo, lemongrass pork skewers, Lao Style papaya salad, hand crafted cured pork bites, and last but not least a cold cut combo bahn mi. I also had a thai iced tea.

The menu is simple, easy to read, and there is also a wall of pictures for most of the items on the menu. There are also small prepackaged treats on the counter that weren’t on the menu but seemed pretty popular.

The Food

The Bahn Mi and Lao Style Papaya salad were a huge hit. I instantly fell in love with the medium spicy and salty flavors of the Papaya salad. The cherry tomatoes in the salad gave a nice change of flavors and offered a burst of sweetness to create the sweet and salty sensation. The Cold Cut Combo Bahn Mi was topped with several different kinds of Vietnamese deli meats and Pâté(a meat like spread with french roots). Too top it off, the Bahn Mi included marinated carrots and daikon along with several slices of fresh cucumber.

The cured ham and Lao sausages were both solid and reminded me of the lao sausages my father occasionally makes. Both were flavor packed, but the cured ham was on the saltier side since we opted for the non-spicy version. Overall both small bites were a nice addition to our meal. Finally, the thai tea was on point. The refreshing sweet tea helped cool us off on this blazing hot day. The heat was in the low 90s and we definitely needed every bit of the ice cold drink.

Lao Papaya Salad


I really enjoyed the warm atmosphere of the family owned eatery. The owners were extremely friendly and brought out the South East Asian hospitality. While the spot is over an hour away, I would love to make another trip to Spicy Joi’s if I am ever in the area. If you have the chance, check them out and order one of their amazing Bahn Mi sandwhiches.

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