In our ice-cream world, 12 flavors go a whole lot further than 31.
And this time of year, the dozen flavors we crave most are at DeLise Café, on the northern edge of San Francisco.
Its husband-and-wife owners bake sublime pastries that merge French techniques and Asian flavors. Their stellar ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet (single, $2.25; double, $3.50; pint, $7.50) follows suit.
Recently, we had ube that shamed the purple-yam stalwart at Mitchell's. The scoop's texture was like velveteen, and the tuber's earthy sweetness dazzled.
Flavors are often fleeting at DeLise Café. Last week's ube has been replaced by saffron-pistachio. Similarly, where there were strawberry-shiso sorbet and honey-chrysanthemum tea, there are now cucumber mojito and lemon-earl grey.
Rather than being frustrating, though, the ephemerality of DeLise's flavors is a curious eater's boon.
Still, if stasis is your M.O., fret not: The Leungs' salted caramel, blasted with house-made brownie bits, never leaves the menu.
Plus, layered with chocolate cake, dulce de leche and Four Barrel coffee ice cream, and finished with torched meringue, the pair's ingenious ice-cream cupcake ($3.95) puts the freeze on the tired miniature sweets.
DeLise Café, 327 Bay St. (near Powell St.); closed Mondays; 415-399-9694 or delisesf.com