Whistle-Stop Pie

Vintage pizza dough in a historic train station

Despite the classic-rock-influenced pizzas on the menu at The Luggage Room–the Free Bird ($13), the Rocket Man ($12)–the restaurant's name is nothing but literal: The new pizzeria is housed in the former luggage room of Pasadena's Del Mar train station.

But if the pizza names are kitschy, the kitchen is guided by tradition: A 70-year-old sourdough starter leavens the dough, and pizzas are baked and blistered in a wood-burning oven.

That vintage starter gives the dough a pleasant tang, and the crust comes out a bit thicker and chewier than the Neapolitan-style pies found around town. Toppings turned the dough a bit soggy in the center of some pies–a problem that a few extra seconds on the superhot stone would likely remedy.

Said toppings come with a high pedigree–the pepperoni found on the pork-heavy Gladiator ($14) comes from New York City's Salumeria Biellese, while the produce featured throughout the menu is sourced from area farmers' markets.

Though several flavorful-sounding pork-topped pizzas are available, we found the vegetarian Rocket Man to be our favorite. The friendly flavors of brassica and capsicum show up in the form of broccolini and red Fresno chiles, the bitter-hot combo bolstered by roasted garlic and sweetly concentrated oven-dried tomatoes.

The Luggage Room Pizzeria, 260 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena; 626-356-4440