Hand crafted Pizzas in Old Town Pasadena.
Dining out on a summer’s night is always a treat.
Then again, it is February, so…
Southern California, ya know what I’m sayin’?
It’s on one of those warm summer nights that I find myself at The Luggage Room, an annex of the La Grande Orange in Old Town Pasadena. Where La Grande Orange took a chunk of this old Pasadena Railway station and turned it into it’s own funky thing along the new Gold Line, The Luggage Room is (you guessed it) the old Luggage Room of the old Del Mar Train Station in Pasadena.
Fortunately, it is a Sunday Night, so I don’t have to deal with the incessant sounds of the Gold Line coming in.
Oh, I’m sorry. Forgot to mention. The building where the restaurant is used to be the Del Mar Station, but the Metro’s Gold Line has moved in, like…fifty feet away.
Sorry for the confusion.
It’s a pretty causal atmosphere inside The Luggage Room. Not that LGO is formal or anything, but one gets the sense that as relaxed as La Grande Orange already is, Luggage is taking things a step further. It’s beer and pizza after all. What’s more relaxing than that?
It’s also more than a bit noisy inside, and it’s not the game or some loud music going out over the speakers making this noise (and Lord knows it ain’t the Gold line making this noise.) No, it’s your fellow customers. Nothing disastrous or anything, just hard to have a first date in.
But like I said, I’m here. It’s night time (The Luggage Room doesn’t do lunch on weekdays). It’s a nice night. I settle in on a Pizza, an appetizer, and wait for the magic to arrive.
And I’m waiting…
Is something going on here? They took my order pretty fast, and my Oeufs de Mayonnaise arrived pretty darn fast. I looked inside The Luggage Room and…it’s busy. Not crazed insane busy, but damn respectable. Is that what’s causing the problem. Lemme go into the La Grande Orange, and–
All of the sudden, I don’t feel that bad no more.
No. No. It’s okay. We allow for stuff like this to happen. It’s the restaurant biz.
So, let me finish by saying The Luggage Room is a good restaurant, really good. It’s worth a couple of your bucks to come and visit. That being said, if you’re looking for that Foodie Holy Grail kind of experience, that’s not going to be here. But there is value in what they do. They know their pizza, and they make it well.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Well, my first trip through and I went for the closest thing The Luggage Room has to a Meat Lover Pizza. I got the Gladiator, which is (you guessed it!) a pizza with House-made Italian Sausage (You had me at House-made) and Salumeria Biellese Pepperoni. Don’t know what that is. Don’t care. Sounds great.
Now…this is going to sound like a dig, but it’s not. The Gladiator pizza, with the exception of some really, really awesome sausage, tasted just like the pizza I get at Whole Foods. Now, let me say that Whole Foods has stepped its pizza game up considerably, and they do have access to a lot of really great ingredients. Bu the two tastes were near mirror images of each other. It was freaky.
Still, I don’t want to make this a rip on The Luggage Room. It’s still made with a great crust, just a hair’s bit better than Whole Foods (and yes, Crust does matter). It was baked to perfection, and it had…yes…house-made sausage. So from a Food Writer’s point of view, The Luggage Room Pizza is better than Whole Food’s, just not the universe’s level of difference between the two that you’d might expect.
Still, you know what Whole Foods doesn’t do? Oeufs de Mayonnaise, but you know ’em better as Deviled Eggs. Those are still good. I’ve had some complaints about them that there are better elsewhere. That may be true, but I’m still buying them here, whenever I can.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Why this place isn’t open for lunch during the week, I have no idea. I cannot tell you how many time I’ve wanted to come here for a quick lunchtime pizza, only…
PARKING: Like with La Grande Orange, there is a nicely sized Parking Structure directly underneath the Restaurant, that’s there to serve Gold Line Customers as well as people taking advantage of the retail businesses up to. I’d expect to pay about $2 bucks for parking, but if you can get in and our in under an hour it should be free. Just take your ticket inside and try to get it validated. (I forgot to do this, but I got in and out in under an hour).
The Luggage Room
260 S. Raymond Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91105
Tel: (626) 356-4440
Monday-Thursday: 5:00 – 10:00 pm
Friday: 4:00 – 11:00 pm
Saturday: 12:00 – 11:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 – 9:00 pm