Freshly fried plantain chips and homemade chimichurri sauce start the meal off right Shachis, the Venezuelan spot in South Williamsburg run by Pedro Boyer and his partner Alan Rodriguez. You can snack on the chips while perusing the menu, which specializes in arepas – Venezualan corn cakes – but also offers delightful Latin American entrees incorporating flavors of saffron and piquillo peppers, yuca, and sweet plantains.

A handful of simple salads are a gateway to arepas ($4-6), the real stars of the show. Though available with a variety of basic fillings: chicken, shredded beef, cheese, or ham and cheese, our favorite is the more complicated pabellon, a deceptively small-but-filling corn cake stuffed with braised and shredded beef, black beans, sweet plaintains, and cheese. Simultaneously salty, sweet, and savory, the arepa only benefits from a touch of hot sauce, available on request. Seafood paella, made for either one or for two, is the kind of dish you happily take home as a leftover, bursting with shrimp, lobster, calamari, chorizo, peas, and peppers.

Though wine is available, a better choice is a glass of the house made sangria (available both red & white), utterly bursting with fruit, or fresh guanabana juice, a tropical fruit evoking flavors of pear and pineapple.

Shachis is located at 197 Havemeyer Street (at S. 4th) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. (718) 388-8884.