I paid my second visit to Udupi in Cary last night and I realized two things:
1) My previously expressed notion that Udupi and The Tower are comparable is very mistaken (see "Another South Indian Gem" below).
2) Udupi is fundamentally the most sophisticated restuarant in the Triangle. The meal last night was perhaps the best Indian meal I've ever had, and I've eaten at Michelin-starred Indian restaurants in London. Udupi offers the kind of minutely precise counterpoint of flavors and textures that you get at only very fine restaurants. Neither Waraji nor Magnolia Grill, as good as they are, have equal control over their ingredients.
Our meal consisted of paratha (best I've ever had), palak paneer (best I've ever had), malai kofta, paper masala dosai (a spectularly gigantic horn of paper-thin rice crepe hiding a dollop of potato), galub jamoon, and badam halwa (this last a delicious green almond pudding; I'd never had anything like it before). Total cost for this enormous, tongue-tingling feast: $29.
The rice at Udupi still sucks, but the sons of Adam cannot expect perfection in this world.