‘Best-ever’ Oxtails At Aiea Restaurant
The “best-ever” oxtail soup Guy Fieri has ever slurped was unveiled recently on his hit TV show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Thankfully, that bowl of savory goodness is served, fresh and steamy, for local fans at The Alley Restaurant at Aiea Bowl.
Upcoming airings of Fieri’s “Righteous Bites” episode are July 5, 6, 11 and 14 on the Food Network, where the popular bowling alley eatery shares time with restaurants in Monterey and Los Angeles, Calif.
Aiea Bowl chef and co-owner Glenn Uyeda confirmed that Fieri loves oxtail soup. “One thing about Guy is that he goes all over and eats oxtail,” Uyeda said, noting that Fieri first heard about Aiea Bowl’s oxtail soup from Reno Henriques, who did a show with Fieri. The bleached-blond host even came back twice for more helpings before leaving the Islands.
“His crew told me that he’s never done that,” Uyeda said. “He never comes back to a place to eat, so he must have really liked it. Just last week he called and said, ‘Glenn, can you send me some oxtail soup?’”
The crew from D.D.D. called three months before shooting, so Uyeda and executive chef Shane Masutani went to work on recipes they’d feature on the show. When production started, Uyeda shut down for two days — something he seldom does.
The Alley’s oxtail soup is a creation of Uyeda’s mother, who was reluctant to share her recipe with the nation. “We had to go massage her a little bit,” he admitted. “It’s her own recipe from the past.”
The soup has been a big hit, and the establishment now goes through about 400 pounds of oxtail a day. “Since the show aired, we’ve experienced a growth in business. We’ve grown about 25 percent in oxtail soup sales. We can’t keep up with it — we’ve run out two times already.”
Also featured on “Righteous Bites” was The Alley’s BBQ Coca-Cola Turkey Sandwich, which has enjoyed a 200 percent increase in sales since the show first aired. “It (turkey) is marinated in Coca-Cola, ginger, garlic and soy sauce,” Uyeda revealed. “It turns the meat into a texture of steak.” Patrons can order the turkey in the sandwich, in a salad or even solo.
Uyeda bought the space and opened The Alley and Aiea Bowl with his brother, Dr. Gregg Uyeda, and sister Stacy Vanderbeck.
“At the beginning, I had to throw oxtail soup away,” he lamented. “We didn’t sell enough, but we’re so happy now that it’s grown.” Those who are ono for a bowl can stop by the restaurant, particularly during the new Thursday Pau Hana, which comes with live music. In the lineup from 6 to 8 p.m. are The Llamedo Sisters July 3, Cool Aina July 10, Aka Vibes July 17, Virgin Mary July 24 and Randy Allen July 31. For reservations, call 445-8236.