I honestly LOVE Lao style papaya salad over the Thai version. Probably because I love fish sauce haha.
There’s a lot of places in San Diego where you can get it and I think it’s because this city has a good amount of people from Laos living in it. It’s almost impossible for me to find Lao food in LA! I’m still searching for it though. Suggestions in the comment section below are much appreciated!
There’s one particular spot my family and I have been going to since I was young. Lao Community Plaza is on Imperial Ave right next to the 805 freeway entrance. They pretty much only have laab (meat salad) and other types of salad like papaya. They also have fried fish, chicken wings and beef jerky now!
I always get it mild and the lady let’s me taste test it first. Growing up with a lot of Lao friends, I have suffered from putting hella spicy food in my mouth and they just laughed at me because “it’s not even that spicy.” Papaya salad tastes great with sticky rice and this time, I got it with freshly made beef jerky!