Designing your own stuff can make you feel special: like painting pottery for your mom, a tee of your dog, or carving that apple which led you to have a 45-minute convo about partisan politics with your dog. For a convenient grub spot that lets you design your own Italian meal: Yes Pasta.
From a nice Italian lady who'd previously run gelato spots in Europe, Yes is a counter-service pasta-ry where you combine your own noodles, sauce, and add-ons; the joint feels a bit like a hip Mediterranean country house, with blue and white accents, homey seating, and a little coffee/sandwich bar up front where you can "grab & go", although this time you won't be sent to juvie for it. Choose from rigatoni, fettuccine, penne, gnocchi, spaghetti, and linguine (all available whole wheat and gluten-free), then get wacky with their roster of sauces, like Gamberi & Asparagi (sauteed shrimp, asparagus, cherry tomatoes), Carbonara (egg, bacon, black pepper, Parm), and Flaminia (a yellow peppers cream sauce named after the owner), and add-ons like Parm, mozz, gorg, provolone, broccoli, chicken, shrimp, or meatballs, but no Meatballs II, because despite all the John Larroquette, they suck. Non-pasta includes the Venezia panini (smoked Norwegian salmon, cream cheese, caramelized onions, mixed greens), the Affettati plate (cured meat selection of Parm prosciutto, salami & mortadella served with flat bread), and the Portofino Salad with soy dressing over grilled ahi, avocado, and palm hearts -- try to understand, try, try, try to understand, they were removed by a man with the magic hands.
For drinks, it's beers (Peroni, Corona) and a reasonable selection of wines, and they've also got a little market area selling gourmet goods imported from Italy like a collection of preserves (sun-dried tomatoes, pears, walnuts, white fig), coveted olive oils from Sicily and Tuscany, and from Sardinia, high-end honey -- unlike the last one you met, who helped you design your own bankruptcy.