Bean-stuffed, Salvadoran-style pupusas are served steaming from the griddle and topped with pickled slaw and avocado ($7). The mole for the duck tamales ($7 at lunch) is thick and bittersweet, which Mr. Gautier attributes to the whole-roasted plantains, skins and all, puréed into the sauce, a trick he learned from a carpenter who worked on the restaurant and now cooks in his kitchen.
Not all the dishes are traditional. Pan-fried trout over fresh corn-studded grits ($9), cooked in stock steeped with corn cobs, is a riff on a Haitian classic usually made with bacalao. Rosemary-spiked rabbit stew with root vegetables and purple potatoes ($21) is the kind of satisfying one-potter home cooks all over South America probably make.
Dishes can skew too spartan for some tastes. Avocado salad ($4) is simply a ripe Hass with red onion and tart vinaigrette, perfect for tucking into coaster-size house-made tortillas ($2 for a stack), with black beans and rice ($4), but uninspiring on its own.