The Luggage Room in Pasadena on a Friday night is crowded, loud, and guaranteed to make you wait 15 minutes for a table unless you want to stand a constant vigilance at the bar. (For those unwilling to wait, the pizzeria is actually attached to Le Grande Orange Cafe which as a less pizza-oriented menu.)
Is the 15 minute wait worth it? For a nearby pizzeria with good pizza and a good wine list, yes. The pizzas range from the ubiquitous margarita to the very Californian avocado pizza. I ordered the mushroom party pizza ($13 – cremini mushrooms, onion, sweet fennel and an added egg at no extra cost) while Will ordered margarita ($12) with black olives and a rocket man ($12 – fresno chiles, broccolini, roasted garlic, and oven dried tomatoes ).
The pizzas came out 10 minutes later with a crust featuring lots of big bubbles on a wooden serving board. My mushroom pizza was earthy and savory, but I think it could have used a more pungent or sharper cheese to balance the musky mushrooms. The topping wasn’t as good as Mozza’s funghi misti, but the crust was great. It was crispy, with just the right amount of chew. Once I got to the outer crust, which I usually discard at lesser pizzerias, I noticed a complex, tangy taste, thanks to their naturally leavened dough.
The BF’s pizzas were decent, but I found the tomato sauce to be too tangy and zesty. According to Will, they tasted like tomatoes from a can, but not in a good way.
For a place close to home with a good wine list, The Luggage Room is pretty good. If it were less busy on a Friday night, I’d definitely make this a regular. A good pizza and glass of wine, a drink afterward at 1886 on Fair Oaks, and I’d call that a successful date night.
The Luggage Room Pizzeria
260 S Raymond Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105
Just to be clear, I am not suggesting that the sauce shouldn’t be made with canned tomatoes (it should) – just that these tomatoes had too much “can” taste – maybe not rinsed, or just not a good brand. I actually thought the sauce wasn’t tangy *enough*, or at least slightly lacking in acid or brightness.