How about some Ice for Your Spice at The Locust?
Shaved Ice Art Forms on 12 South Ave in Nashville
2305 12th Ave South
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A small Nashville dining secret lies on 12 South Ave called The Locust. They have the fluffiest, perfectly packed, creamy-centered shaved ice. It was served with a carefully chosen wooden spoon that helped us gently chop away at the large ice mound. It was an important detail, that played on the warm and cold notes of the dish. Within the layers of our desserts, we found pops of muddled mint that were freshly picked from the garden.
The ice was served toppling over its bowl with a unique mountain of sweet, light marshmallowy sugar. One center was filled with peaches, black tea ice, and shortbread. Our second (yes we ordered both) was topped with almond milk cream and salted, warm caramel. Words cannot do these unctuous bowls of cooling ice justice, so study the photos and plan your trip.
The cooling desserts complemented the main meal so well. It started with handmade, dumplings that steamed our faces as we leaned in for whiffs of our first course. The menu was focused, with four to five options, and three daily specials. The play on hot and cold throughout the chef's Japanese-inspired menu was thoughtful and dramatic. Next, we dove into their cold spicy peanut noodles, that left our mouths on fire. To cool off our burning palettes we chose the marinated cucumbers served with herbed dipping salt. Just as you suspected they provided some more ice for our spice!
Another very interesting menu choice was their ruby red shrimp toast. We were at first unsure what we were eating, but after the second bite we were completely hooked. With a shrimp salad center, the light doughy inside and a crisp outer layer dish would satisfy the most hungry guest.
The service style is interesting and serves as its own art. The waiters were also the cooks, dishwashers and hosts. They moved about the kitchen like dwarves from Snow White, meticulously keeping a pristine kitchen and somehow still providing a laid-back atmosphere. It was fun to watch! The head chef and dumpling architects even had time to talk to us while they worked. Here I could see how such a focused menu allowed such a unique kitchen atmosphere.
The Locust, with its super chill, open kitchen and focus on food precision, has made its mark on our hearts. It's just about time for you to grab your wallet and head on down to The Locust to be taken on a Japanese food journey. Make sure to order something spicy so you are forced to cool off with their delectable shaved ice art forms. They are a must-eat here in Nashville, TN.