According to the guy from India who introduced me to this place, the food is vegetarian and from southern India. Most, if not all, other Indian restaurants in Minneapolis-St. Paul are serving food from northern India. The food is unlike anything I've had in five other Indian restaurants in town, so I tend to believe him. I haven't tried the latest incarnation of the Indian restaurant on Lake Street, near Hennepin, maybe they're southern Indian as well.
The use of spices and beans and pulses and fermented rice batter is apparently what sets the food apart from the naan+tandoori chicken+basmati rice fare at Jewel of India, Taste of India and a half-dozen other Indian places in the Twin Cities.
I've gone three times in the last three months. At lunch, the buffet has had varied dishes, they are all good choices for a steam table, things like dahl with two kinds of beans, chick pea stews, potato stews iddly (steamed cakes made from fermented rice batter) and a sambar and a soup. Papadums (lentil crisps) and 4 or 5 chutney's. They bring a dhosa to your table, filled with mashed potato/turmeric mix.
The buffet is $8 / head and well worth it, IMO.
Udipi is located on the west side of Central Ave, south of 50th St. NE. Just south of I-694. I believe the building was formerly a Korean restaurant.