You're looking for a restaurant because (choose one) it's your birthday; it's your day off;, it's too hot to cook -- or you simply don't want to mess up the kitchen.

The trouble is, it's also Sunday (or Monday), so every place on your "favorites" list is closed, and you hate it when that happens.

You need not lack for sustenance, despite the calendar. Here, my hungry friends, are some worthy seven-day suggestions to keep in mind.

As a general rule, Asian restaurants don't take time off. Tao Sushi and Grill, 3200 Orchard Park Road in Orchard Park, for instance, is a great-looking place with a Japanese/Chinese/Thai menu. And if want to make it a party, there's a hibachi room with tables for six or more. The chef stands in the middle, brandishes his knives and cooks dinner right in front of you.

Most chain restaurants also work a seven-day week. Bravo in Walden Galleria is one of the better choices. There is a separate entrance outside and an effort to feature seasonal food; once you get inside the place you lose that gotta-get-shopping frenzy. The same goes for the Cheesecake Factory next door.

The popular Bonefish Grill in the Boulevard Mall, 1247 Niagara Falls Blvd., is almost always open.

If you're looking for a moderately priced family kind of place, consider wonderful, historic Eckl's, 4936 Ellicott Road, Orchard Park. (The official correct name is Eckl's Beef & Weck, but there are plenty of other popular entrees on the menu.)

Ditto for Family Tree, 4346 N. Bailey Ave., Amherst.

Going more upscale, perhaps? How about Curly's, 647 Ridge Road, Lackawanna? Caribbean food is a specialty here (the jerk chicken is famous), but the menu is varied, the welcome is warm, and you'll come away very satisfied.

Siena, 4516 Main St., Snyder, is a beautiful restaurant and a sophisticated one as well. The thin-crust pizzas are legendary, but there is much more to eat. We like to order a pizza for the table with our drinks before moving on to the well-prepared entrees.

And then, of course, there is always steak. If you're hankering for a hunk of beef, consider the Buffalo Chophouse, 282 Franklin St., developer Mark Croce's baby. This gorgeous, florid place takes meat seriously, but cheap it is not. (Look for coupon deals that will help take the bite off the total.)

Black & Blue Steak and Crab, 5493 Sheridan Drive, Amherst, is a handsome place, too. I like the food (especially the salads at lunch), and I like that stunning staircase to the wine cellar.

JoJo's Bistro and Wine Bar directly next door and under the same (Rochester) ownership, is more casual, less expensive, and its menu is cleverly contemporary.

Next week: Eating outdoors, continued.

Have a beef about dining out? Looking for a place to host a party? Send your questions and comments to longtime Buffalo News restaurant reviewer Janice Okun at