Casual in Westwood?
Agreed on the Iron Horse -- it's slipped in recent years. I would have hoped that the fire and renovation would return it to it's more glory days, but in my opinion it has not. Not even close. I got roped into the IH recently as the majority of people wanted to go (I couldn't convince them, LOL). Once again -- just not enjoyable in my opinion and for my tastes.
Without question, I completely disagree about Baci vs. Banchetto Feast. In my opinion, I found the latter to be very ordinary, typical, etc. -- and I've been there more than once (again, not my choice). I would not have gone back had others not insisted (central location), but again, I found it very ordinary -- lacking flavor, and in certain instances, poor quality and execution.
If you are in the area, try both and see what you like. You might like both...or neither, LOL. Good luck and enjoy.
They are both pretty ordinary. BF pricing is a bit better and the crowd is a little less "affected". (A lot of folks from the old Tuscany Trattoria migrated to Baci).
The best of this ilk in this area is the recently opened Osso Buco in Hilllsdale. (Broadway). Top notch pastas and sauces, nice atmosphere, extremely friendly and competent service. Get there.
Bat Barry's, with "upscale pub" fare, is right next to the theater. Nice burgers and other fare. Good drinks and a good wine selection. A small step up from Finnegan's. Should suit you well.
Iron Horse?? UGH! Has gone way downhill in recent years. After 930 they wheel plastic garbage cans past the tables. Even the heralded cole slaw is commercial variety now. Stay away.
Baci? Ordinary Ital-American with higher than average prices. Not a good value. Banchetto Feast a better choice in this category.
As far as casual dress, they even wear jeans and shorts to Broadway plays these days, so dining in Westwood should allow for any kind of clothing...
Let me add a few other thoughts. One, I would stay away from Bibi'z -- yes, they are not "casual" but regardless, I went there once and that was more than enough. I had the most terrible restaurant experience there. Sure, I could have written it off as a one-time, never again experience -- but a good friend had a very similar experience just two weeks later. Since then I've heard numerous poor reports.
On a very positive note -- if you are looking for something a bit less casual, I would try Baci. To me, it's casual. I've worn jeans and a polo shirt there, but I've seen people in khaki's as well. Very good food. I've always enjoyed going there and each time it's been a very good meal that everyone has enjoyed. Nice bar and good drinks too.
An alternative for a burger is Davey's, but I am sure you know that place...probably well. LOL.
Granita Grille...it's a small, BYO, family owned and operated, casual place. I've gone numerous times -- very good service and good food. It's not a typical "red sauce" place -- nice specials and a good flair on traditional dishes.
Good flavor, good taste, well prepared, etc. -- and I've always had a good meal and a good time there.