PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — When people think of Italian food, they usually picture cheese, meat and creamy sauces, but a Portland restaurant is taking a different approach to the classic cuisine.

Lilla, located at 960 S.E. Madison St., opened last month and offers plant-based pasta, pizza, small plates and other dishes. The menu includes tagliolini with basil hazelnut pesto and sun-dried tomatoes.

People can also enjoy soy ricotta and spinach pizza made with sunflower mozzarella.

“It’s just something the community in Portland wanted,” said Sanjay Chandrasekasran, the owner of the restaurant. “I don’t think there has been anything like it since Portobello, which closed a few years back.”

As for what makes Lilla stand out, he added that the pasta is handmade using seasonal and fresh ingredients.

Dasquale Lioddi, who is the chef at Lilla, told KOIN 6 News that it’s possible to make quality Italian food without all of the ingredients people are accustomed to.

“We do eat a lot of cheese and meat, but we definitely eat mostly vegetables in Italy,” Lioddi said. “A lot of the dishes are already oriented to be vegan. That’s something that Lilla wanted to bring out. Show a different side of Italian cuisine, and that it can be fun-filled with veggies and many other ingredients that usually really used and shown.”

In the future, Chandrasekasran plans to add alcoholic drinks to the menu along with adding more employees as the restaurant continues to provide a new take on Italian food.