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The Non-Safe Choice: Black Sesame Eclair at Obento-Ya

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Covered in a thin later of crunchy white frosting studded with black sesame seeds, the eclair on offer at Obento-Ya is fittingly off-kilter for a Japanese restaurant known for its quirky menu.

Thinner than a typical eclair but bulbous at one end, its appearance is, politely put, suggestive. A gray, gooey black sesame cream filling does little to defuse the generally dong-like impact.

(Granted that this camera-phone image isn't doing it any favors, but, honestly, it's not a dessert for the eyes.)

Once you get past the visual impact, the eclair's quite nice. The black sesame flavor is pronounced but mellow, and adds interest; the crackly frosting plays nicely with the relatively soft eclair and its creamy but not overly sweet contents. Overall, a surprisingly refined and restrained way to end a meal.

Black Sesame Eclair at Obento-Ya Price: $5.25 Fear and/or Confusion Factor While Ordering (out of 10): 6 Actual Fear and/or Confusion Factor, While Eating : 4 Taste: 7