PASTA ISN'T JUST PASTA. It all starts in the field with #1 hard amber durum wheat. It's what gives our pasta the al dente texture, bright amber color and nutty wheat taste. It isn't a coincidence. The wheat in our pasta is grown exclusively by Dakota Growers Pasta Company in Carrington, North Dakota. They mill 100% of their raw materials using top-of-the-line Italian pasta-making machinery and technology. It costs more, but we think it's worth it.

NOODLES BY THE EXPERTS. Our signature udon noodles found in our Japanese Pan Noodles also are made exclusively just for us. We work closely with Noodle masters in Brooklyn, New York so these thick, chewy noodles absorb sauce and caramelize just right. Our Japanese Pan Noodles recipe was inspired by a town in Japan called Yakiudon. This item has been on our menu since we opened our doors in 1995 and it has very loyal fans. We hope you're one of them.

And nothing is more authentic than our rice noodles. We buy them from a company in Thailand that the Thai locals buy for their meals. They call them "long life noodles" because they signify a long life to the person eating them. Because of this, the noodles are never cut or shortened in the belief that it would be bad luck and would shorten that person's life. So we don't cut ours either.

SOME WINE WITH THAT? We serve beer and wine because it goes great with our food. The selection and availability varies for each restaurant, because our general managers get to select the brands they think our guests will like best. In each city, we definitely try to serve local favorites like New Belgium Brewing Company, Boulevard Brewing Company, 312, Big Boss and Deschutes.

REAL FOOD WITH REAL INGREDIENTS. We believe a great meal starts with the best ingredients. We use real aged Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and Italian seasoning to make our Parmesan Crusted Chicken. We make it thin and grill it on both sides to sear in the juices. Our Thai Curry Soup is made from more than 30 authentic ingredients including galangal, kefir lime, lemongrass, red chili, tamarind and coconut fried shallots.

Some say our Wisconsin Mac & Cheese is the best in the world. We don't argue. It's made the way grandma does using real butter and cream topped with a blend of shredded cheddar and jack cheese that melts just right.

FRESH VEGETABLES-LOTS OF THEM. We have 14 vegetables on our menu that we prep and chop fresh every day. We encourage our guests to add some color to their bowl by adding and swapping veggies.

LOOKING FOR LOCAL. We make sure we have the freshest ingredients available year round. It makes a huge difference in flavor. In Oregon we've been trying a pilot program of sourcing more and more locally and partner with local farms like Howard Calcagno Farms. They provide us with our romaine lettuce, herbs and napa cabbage delivered from field to bowl in just days. We're looking to do more of this in other areas.