NalaPak Indian Restaurant - Closed

4920 Central Ave. NE
Columbia Heights, MN 55421
"This is insane," one woman said to another as she heaped a scoop of curry onto a second plate at the Nalapak buffet. The former home of Udupi has a new name and new owners, but serves similarly delicious vegetarian Indian food. The weekday buffet is the most effective way to experience Nalapak's vast spread of curries and rice dishes, and its pilaf made with Indian cream of wheat and savory fried lentils shaped into doughnuts. Top the spicy amalgam with any manner of mint and coconut chutneys and homemade yogurt. Then sop it up with a wedge of paratha flatbread or one of the rice-and-lentil cakes (they look like cupcake tops and taste like injera). All the dishes are helpfully labeled, so you'll know the name, even if you don't know what it is. (FYI, payasam is a sweet, milky dessert with cashews, cardamom, and bits of vermicelli noodles-and it's very good.) As if you haven't heaped your plate high enough, when you return to your table, a server will drop off an additional dosa, a crisp, vegetable-stuffed crêpe. True, it's probably too much food, but to refuse it would also be crazy.
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