One can easily argue that Houston doesn’t need another pizzeria. We have a number of decent pie joints (Star Pizza, Pink’s, Luigi’s are some of my favorites), so adding one more to the mix doesn’t seem particularly necessary. Then again, great pizza is all about desire not necessity: I don’t order a large pie for myself at 9 p.m. on a Friday because my mind and body absolutely requires all the nutrients contained in that luscious circle of cheese, crust, and tomato sauce. I get pizza (and I bet you do, too) because I want it, I ‘crave‘ it.
So, if there’s one more good pizza place close to my house, I welcome it with open arms and thank it for further diversifying my options. Currently that place is Luna Pizzeria, the newest addition to the restaurant family that also includes Brown Bag Deli and Barnaby’s. Its location and interior décor (open booth seating, scattered red pillows, board games) seem intentionally un-fancy, which is actually the point: Luna Pizzeria wants to serve a casual crowd. On any given day, the clientele comprises employees from other neighboring businesses in the strip mall, early bird elderly couples, families, and singletons popping by for a pie to take home.
Pizzas come in two sizes: “personal” and “large” and varieties are relatively simple in design. There’s a classic margherita (mozzarella, basil, tomatoes) and pepperoni as well as a mushroom pie, which combines portabello, shitake, and oyster ‘shrooms along with spinach and rosemary over a whipped ricotta base.
Taking a nod from Burger King, Luna’s staff will also “make it the way you want it.” That means choosing your own plants (arugula, mushrooms, red peppers, olives, spinach, jalapenos, basil, red onions, pepperoncini), proteins (pepperoni, Italian sausage, meatballs, chicken) or Italian cold cuts as toppings (sopressata, cappicola, prosciutto), a delightful exercise for control freaks like myself and a nightmare for the indecisive.
Luna also offers an Italian sub, meatball provolone hoagie (my favorite), and sausage and pepper sandwich for those not in the mood (I know, how does that happen?) for pizza. Seeing these items on the menu made me nostalgic for the similarly simple Italian-American pizza parlors I frequented growing up in Pennsylvania. There’s also a few sturdy salads like the “Chopped” (romaine lettuce, red cabbage, carrots, onions, olives, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, cucumbers, provolone, and sopressata…whew!), which is lovely but too intense to be paired with a pie. Go for the classic Caesar or the arugula & fennel in a lemon vinaigrette instead to add a pleasant balance to your otherwise carb-heavy meal.
Although Luna Pizzeria offers beer and wine, the order-at-the-counter format of dining and family-friendly atmosphere do not make it conducive to rowdy pizza parties where you knock back more drinks than you do slices. If that’s your fancy, get takeout and party on your own turf. For quieter suppers and weekday lunches, Luna is absolutely perfect.
3435 Kirby Dr, Houston, TX 77098