Just because you can doesn’t mean you should—it’s a good rule for many things in the kitchen, and perhaps pizza toppings in particular. Any food can be placed on a pizza crust, but does that really mean one should cover a pizza in Thai basil barbecue chicken and cilantro?

Honey, chili peppers, arugula and lemon zest are among the seemingly ill-advised toppers for the thin-crust, wood-fired pies at Vesta, but this is not strictly a case of creativity for creativity’s sake. The Redwood City pizza spot balances the novelty of some of its ingredients with thoughtfully paired flavors on the pizzas that are its signature dish.

My companion’s Sausage & Honey pizza ($19) arrived topped generously with pieces of Italian sausage, the heat of which was boosted by the accompanying thin slices of serrano pepper. However, the heavy drizzle of honey over the pie doused the heat and complemented the touch of sweetness in the tomato sauce. Mascarpone further cooled the spiciness.

The Burrata pizza ($18) was dotted with dollops of the creamy, slightly gooey cheese. A sprinkle of basil played up the freshness of the cheese and the rich tomato sauce while a small salad bowl’s worth of arugula heaped over the pizza added an appealingly bitter edge. But the pie wanted one or two more ingredients—maybe additional produce like tomatoes—not only to unite the aggressiveness of arugula with the delicate flavor of the burrata, but also to add interest to the pie’s rather limited textures.

Vesta’s menu includes a little more than a dozen pizzas, divided just about evenly between red pies (with tomato sauce) and white (without). One of the specials was a white pie, the Spring Vegetable pizza, which was topped with goat cheese, shaved asparagus, English peas and cherry tomatoes, all sprinkled with lemon zest. Apart from a touch of cognitive dissonance (shouldn’t something this lemony be dessert?) the fresh flavors of the vegetables and the citrus complemented the subtle bitterness of the crust.

At Vesta, if it’s not a pizza or a salad, chances are it’s a grilled dish—and the kitchen has proven equally inventive with the grill as the pizza oven. Vesta’s grill elevates lowly carrots, so often relegated to a disappointing side dish, to an inspired starter. Grilling brings out the carrots’ sweetness, which is balanced by a lightly spicy mix of cilantro, paprika, cumin and garlic. The grilled carrots ($8) are finished with a couple spoonfuls of lemon yogurt.

Cauliflower also gets a new interpretation thanks to the grill. For a cauliflower small plate ($9), it’s quartered, charred on a couple sides and served with toasted almonds, currants and a bit of serrano chile. Honey complements the almonds and currants well, and a topping of breadcrumbs adds even a little more crunch.