Gia Lai is a Vietnamese restaurant in the Legacy Village shopping center in Lyndhurst near Cleveland. The decor is modern, and the menu offers fresh takes on Vietnamese classics with a large number of vegetarian dishes. One whole page of the dinner menu consists of all vegetarian dishes.
The vegetarian pho should help Cleveland residents embrace the winter chill. The rich, clear mushroom broth has citrus accents, and it is a perfect backdrop for the mountains of soft and crispy tofu, rice noodles, veggies including pea pods, hot peppers, carrots, bean sprouts, leafy greens, baby corn, mushrooms, green onions, cauliflower and peppers, alongside Sriracha sauce, a sweet hoisin and fresh garnishes. The bowl is the size of a hot tub, and it could feed a small army.
The vegetable spring rolls were fresh, and they were served with a spicy peanut sauce that added a rich note to the noodles and sauteed veggies inside the cold roll.
The menu also offers a number of Chinese dishes. The cuisine is modern with fusion accents more so that a by-the-book traditional Vietnamese restaurant. Those willing to overlook some of these characteristics should be pleased by the fresh, flavorful fare.