I just ate the lunch buffet yesterday at:
Royal Taj 1845 E Broadway Rd Tempe
To let you know where I'm coming from, Indian is my favorite ethnic food. In the metro Phoenix area, I've been to several restaurants. With the exception of Taste of India, it's exclusively the fare offered at their lunch/dinner buffets.
I'm going to try to list them from favorite, to least favorite:
Now the Gandhi Restaurant,
(formerly a satellite location of Priya )
903 S Rural Rd
Tempe, 3x Priya 6+ X as Ghandi
Taste Of India
1609 E Bell Rd Dozens of X
Maharaja Palace Indian
5775 W Bell Rd Ste 5 5-6x
Indian Delhi Palace
5050 E Mcdowell Rd 3-4x
16842 N 7th St 4-5x
1636 N. Scottsdale Road
Lest I leave anyone with a bad impression, NONE of the restaurants are bad. As my palate has matured, that's just where I find my rankings right now.
For those NOT aware of it, UDUPI is vegetarian, though not vegan. There's plenty of dairy used in their dishes. I WILL try it again, it's just that I have to be in the mood to give up my yearning for the excellent chicken dishes in order to experience some other things. Like fresh dosa(dose?), a large crepe-like bread item.
So, where does that leave the 'Taj? Apples-to-apples, sampling dishes I've had numerous times, they were much more mild.
They had the ubiquitous roasted Tandoori chicken
Palaak Paneer(creamy spinach w/chunks of cheese)
Paneer Khorma (chunk cheese in coconut cream sauce)
Chana Masala (soupy chick peas)
and that desert made from ground carrot(can't recall).
They weren't tastless mind you, just with less zest, and in the cases of 'hot' spicy dishes, less kick. The place has marvelous atmosphere, and there's room for outdoor, covered seating as weather permits.
I will try it again, and likely even a third time before I decide if it will make the permanent rotation.
Still on my short-list to try is:
Flavors of India
4523 N 16th St
and Priya's original, and remaining, Tempe location.