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Yuan LIU
Works at Silver Spring Networks
Attended Chinese Academy of Sciences
Lives in Mountain View
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Yuan LIU

Discipline/Behavior  - 
 
 
What does discipline mean to you?  Of five dictionaries shipped with Apple's OS X, "No entries found" in Apple dictionary.  Given its "1984" fame, maybe that's just Apple's way of saying "we have no discipline."

In reality, though, the question arose last October in a conversation with my fifth grader, when I told her that she needed discipline in managing time.  I, of course, mean to say "the controlled behavior resulting from" training, usually the first entry in a dictionary.  In a dictionary that I know, that is.  Then, I realised that I hadn't used this word with her, so I half-heartedly followed up: "You know the word, discipline, right?"  "I think so.  *Punishment*."

What a shock!  Here and there, I heard her school use the phrase "give somebody discipline" in that sense.  But I had never thought of punishment as the first thing coming out of a ten-years-old's mouth.  OK.  English is my second language.  So I asked for her copy of Marriam-Webster (pocket).

"1:  PUNISHMENT 2: a field of study: SUBJECT 3: training that corrects, molds, or perfects 4: control gained by obedience or training: orderly conduct 5: a system of rules governing conduct"

Huh?  Have I been so wrong all these years?  So I pulled out a dictionary that had accompanied me for more than three decades, not that I had ever looked up this word therein.

"1 [U] training of the mind and body to produce obedience and self-control: school/military discipline 2 [U] control gained as a result of this training: ... 3 [U] punishment: ... 4 [C] a method of training: ... 5 [C] a branch of learning studied at a university: ..."

That is Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, a volume that the British has compiled for foreigners.  Is this just another war between the New World and the Old World?  After explaining to her what I really meant, I had to dig more.  So I look up even more references.  Both American and British Oxford on OS X have no “punishment” as main entry. (“Punish” appears in verb definition.)  Their first entry does refer to punishment, in this definition: "the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience.”  Dictionary.com also places “punishment” in third entry.  I even asked Siri.  Why not?  “From 7 definitions of ‘discipline’, the first one is: a branch of knowledge.”  The fifth is “act of punishing.” (That screenshot must be from WolframAlpha.  In iOS 8, it is using built-in dictionary that is perhaps Oxford.)

Then, there is Newberry House Dictionary of American English.  No entry for “punishment”; the concept of punishment isn’t associated with any of the three entries.  Come The American Heritage Student Dictionary, same deal.  Et Multidictionnaire de la langue française, aussi. (The word did originate from old French, right?)

Last (but not always the least), there is Wikipedia: “Discipline is the suppression of base desires, and is usually understood to be synonymous with self control. Self-discipline is to some extent a substitute for Motivation. Discipline is when one uses reason to determine the best course of action that opposes one's desires, which is the opposite of Fun.”  That is the main entry.  Its disambiguation page offers the following:

"Discipline is any training intended to produce a specific character or pattern of behaviour.

Discipline may also refer to:

General
* Discipline (specialism), a specific branch of knowledge, learning and practice, such as an academic or professional discipline
* Church discipline, a response of an ecclesiastical body to some perceived wrong
* Punishment, an imposition of something negative on a person or animal in response to behavior deemed wrong
* An element of BDSM
...”

Dizzy?  Let me summarise.
1. Of 7 English language dictionaries, 1 French language dictionary, plus English Widipedia and Siri, only Marriam-Webster makes "punishment" as the first entry; 9 of them do not explicitly relate punishment with its first entry, 5 do not include a separate entry for "punishment".
2. Of 4 American English language dictionaries (not including Dictionary.com and Siri), plus English Wikipedia whose style guide recommends American English unless writing about dialects, only Marriam-Webster makes "punishment" as the first entry; 3 do not explicitly relate punishment with its first entry, 3 do not include a separate entry for "punishment".

Still convinced that "discipline" means "punishment" first and foremost?  What is your discipline on "discipline"?
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Yuan LIU

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What does discipline mean to you?  Of five dictionaries shipped with Apple's OS X, "No entries found" in Apple dictionary.  Given its "1984" fame, maybe that's just Apple's way of saying "we have no discipline."

In reality, though, the question arose last October in a conversation with my fifth grader, when I told her that she needed discipline in managing time.  I, of course, mean to say "the controlled behavior resulting from" training, usually the first entry in a dictionary.  In a dictionary that I know, that is.  Then, I realised that I hadn't used this word with her, so I half-heartedly followed up: "You know the word, discipline, right?"  "I think so.  Punishment."

What a shock!  Here and there, I heard her school use the phrase "give somebody discipline" in that sense.  But I had never thought of punishment as the first thing coming out of a ten-years-old's mouth.  OK.  English is my second language.  So I asked for her copy of Marriam-Webster (pocket).

"1:  PUNISHMENT 2: a field of study: SUBJECT 3: training that corrects, molds, or perfects 4: control gained by obedience or training: orderly conduct 5: a system of rules governing conduct"

Huh?  Have I been so wrong all these years?  So I pulled out a dictionary that had accompanied me for more than three decades, not that I had ever looked up this word therein.

"1 [U] training of the mind and body to produce obedience and self-control: school/military discipline 2 [U] control gained as a result of this training: ... 3 [U] punishment: ... 4 [C] a method of training: ... 5 [C] a branch of learning studied at a university: ..."

That is Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, a volume that the British has compiled for foreigners.  Is this just another war between the New World and the Old World?  After explaining to her what I really meant, I had to dig more.  So I look up even more references.  Both American and British Oxford on OS X have no “punishment” as main entry. (“Punish” appears in verb definition.)  Their first entry does refer to punishment, in this definition: "the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience.”  Dictionary.com also places “punishment” in third entry.  I even asked Siri.  Why not?  “From 7 definitions of ‘discipline’, the first one is: a branch of knowledge.”  The fifth is “act of punishing.” (That screenshot must be from WolframAlpha.  In iOS 8, it is using built-in dictionary that is perhaps Oxford.)

Then, there is Newberry House Dictionary of American English.  No entry for “punishment”; the concept of punishment isn’t associated with any of the three entries.  Come The American Heritage Student Dictionary, same deal.  Et Multidictionnaire de la langue française, aussi. (The word did originate from old French, right?)

Last (but not always the least), there is Wikipedia: “Discipline is the suppression of base desires, and is usually understood to be synonymous with self control. Self-discipline is to some extent a substitute for Motivation. Discipline is when one uses reason to determine the best course of action that opposes one's desires, which is the opposite of Fun.”  That is the main entry.  Its disambiguation page offers the following:

"Discipline is any training intended to produce a specific character or pattern of behaviour.

Discipline may also refer to:

General
* Discipline (specialism), a specific branch of knowledge, learning and practice, such as an academic or professional discipline
* Church discipline, a response of an ecclesiastical body to some perceived wrong
* Punishment, an imposition of something negative on a person or animal in response to behavior deemed wrong
* An element of BDSM
...”

Dizzy?  Let me summarise.
1. Of 7 English language dictionaries, 1 French language dictionary, plus English Widipedia and Siri, only Marriam-Webster makes "punishment" as the first entry; 9 of them do not explicitly relate punishment with its first entry, 5 do not include a separate entry for "punishment".
2. Of 4 American English language dictionaries (not including Dictionary.com and Siri), plus English Wikipedia whose style guide recommends American English unless writing about dialects, only Marriam-Webster makes "punishment" as the first entry; 3 do not explicitly relate punishment with its first entry, 3 do not include a separate entry for "punishment".

Still convinced that "discipline" means "punishment" first and foremost?  What is your discipline on "discipline"?
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(A footnote to my lack of artistic articulation.)

The point is, the two coils do not have to have the same shape or size.  In this case, efficiency improves when the inner diameter of the star is closer to the smaller coil.  This way, there are fewer paths for magnetic field lines to short circuit.
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No special ingredient.
 
5 Minute Homemade Ice Cream

You guys wouldn't believe how easy this is to make!!  Yet another cool Summer treat from +Cooking Stoned.

#summer   #icecream   #howto   #tips  
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Three days of more shopping and testing for compass construction. (For +Hackerlings test drive this Saturday.)  I think I have a winner - a one-stop-shop even.  Here's a tip: The very idea of hacking is to use a product for unintended purposes.

Sunday from Diddams came a dozen small compasses just in case, but also a pack of cute small plastic cups called "shot glasses". (It was the first time I heard of this product.)  A smaller container could potentially make compasses more sensitive by bringing needle closer to magnetic source.  But alas, it limits the size of needle I can use, thus limiting the amount of magnetisation.  I was barely able to make the needle respond.  So, party compass a win, shot glass a loss.

Yesterday from Jo-ann came two sizes of needles.  I actually got the tip from Diddams clerk as I never needed so many needles of the same size.  Frankly, I totally lost the sense of size in the shop for I have a particularly bad perception of space when many things are placed side by side.  I was sweating and regretting not having brought my own samples.  Despite its "European quality," (made in Holland) the magnet is too weak due to size.

Today, I was to check out another Jo-ann near work, and visit a Dollar Tree in the same mall.  On the way, there was a Party City I wanted to check out.  Then, this Dollar Deal was right next door.  Not European, but the store is listed on Google Maps as "Local discount shop with broad inventory."  I don't know about the "local" bit, but it surely has broad inventory.  A pack of 54 large size needles, for example, is more than what I need.  That alone would cost at least 10x more at Jo-ann. (Dollar Tree only carries sewing kits, not needle packs.)  Isn't it obvious that you don't need European needles to make magnet? (By the way, I am among the very few who hand-sew today, thanks to my Girl Scout in residence.  I'd say that I'm OK with these needles even if I use them for sewing.)  Packs of 8 very nice mechanic pencils - the 1.2mm multi-point kind, and packs of 25 plastic cups.  The cups are particularly thin, unsuitable as party supply.  But remember we are using them for unintended purposes?  They are easier to poke with a needle, and all we need is a container to stand on the table, not something to hold in hand.

I am definitely going back some time for its inventory that is not just "wide" but wild.  I had never seen a dollar store with hardcore hardware, not just cheap knockouts. (And some other wild things.)  It looks like a combination of a dollar store and a surplus store.
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Yuan LIU

➥ How-tos & learning  - 
 
Iteration of materials and methods can make the difference between approachable and intimidating.  Fellow hackers at Hacker Dojo loved the deadpan classic with modern elements.
 
Eight seconds are all you need to demonstrate Faraday's Law. (Lenz's Law, too.)

The hack really doesn't need any explanation. (Except the physics side.)  This setup isn't my usual household style, but it is totally approachable.  The two magnetic bases with on-off switch cost only US$32 total.  If you are setting up a lab or class of any sort, they would be indispensable.  Amn't I glad that I bought two. (Pittsburgh is the store brand of Harbor Freight, one of my "approved" maker sheds.  Remember my banter? https://plus.google.com/+YuanLiuTheDoc/posts/FSyaPYgXJ3o.  Each of these could cost you $180 from your traditional science lab suppliers.)
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Yuan LIU

Hacks & Tips  - 
 
That little hook adds action to this classic novelty!
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When I typed "smart phone" into Google Docs, it red-marked me!  What could it be?  Google suggested "smartphone" instead.  Mmm.  _Smartphone_ ?  After consulting three dictionaries, I have to concur: smartphone it is.  But the puzzle isn't over.

The screen in Marriam-Webster phone app caught my attention.  "YOU MAY LIKE," it proclaims, "American Sniper."  I thought these were supposed to be personalised, context aware ads.  And what dark secret about me that iAd or whatever network Marriam-Webster uses knows - that I don't, could tattle that I may like "American Sniper" when I look up "smart phone"?
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There are a hundred places other than on a screw head where a screw driver can be applied.  This hacker's maxim also applies to magnetic base.  In the final dash to prepare for +Hackerlings test drive, I tried to dispense metres and metres of wire on a free-rolling spindle.  It took me 4 hours to prepare six 15-metre packages last night.

After much struggle, I finally realised that I needed a spinner.  My first attempt was to put the spindle vertically on the post of the magnetic base.  Whereas this actually speeded up last night's work, it was very inefficient because of friction.  So, tonight after some continued struggle, I decided that a friction-free spinner is in order. I connected one instrument arm to two bases.  In fact, the arm's length barely allowed the spindle to be installed.  But no matter.  I no longer had to struggle with dispensation.

If only packaging 15 metres of wire was as easy. It still took 5 hours to finish the remaining 14 packages. (Depicted in the background: 10 more gum boxes to be stuffed.)
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Last two days to sign up and play Law enforcement in an adventure to the wireless world that is more complex than textbook! (Only 4 seats left.)
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​​​Physical  - 
 
What can you do with this nearly two-century old law?

As you switch the magnetic base "on", the green light flashes briefly, then goes off.  As you switch the magnetic base "off", the red light - which is connected in the opposite polarity, flashes briefly, then goes off. (If you horizontally flip the coil 180º, lighting sequence will reverse.)

Two important points to make.  First, light turns on only when the magnetic field is changing, and whenever the field changes, no matter it is an increase or a decrease. (Faraday's Law.)  Second, increasing magnetic field and decreasing magnetic field produces opposite potentials. (Lenz's Law.)  Each of the LEDs selects the direction that opens its junction.

Faraday had to discover the law of induction in two coupled coils.  It was later that people started to use permanent magnet with a single coil.  Either way, the display device is usually an ammeter - an analogue one for best visual effect.  Lighting experiment is usually reserved for a generator setup.

In Faraday's case, momentary current change creates much higher change in magnetic flux than otherwise achievable. (Waveform in my joule thief circuit shows the same.  See sample measurement in https://plus.google.com/+YuanLiuTheDoc/posts/AMeMBsGBsjT)

But I want a pure, deadpan demonstration, with lighting display. (So deadpan that an amplifier must not be used.)  Spring action in commonly available magnetic base fills my need.  Hat off to Harbor Freight (again) for carrying such a fine machine for US$16.  Now every grade school class can afford it. (One is sufficient.  See comments.)
 
Eight seconds are all you need to demonstrate Faraday's Law. (Lenz's Law, too.)

The hack really doesn't need any explanation. (Except the physics side.)  This setup isn't my usual household style, but it is totally approachable.  The two magnetic bases with on-off switch cost only US$32 total.  If you are setting up a lab or class of any sort, they would be indispensable.  Amn't I glad that I bought two. (Pittsburgh is the store brand of Harbor Freight, one of my "approved" maker sheds.  Remember my banter? https://plus.google.com/+YuanLiuTheDoc/posts/FSyaPYgXJ3o.  Each of these could cost you $180 from your traditional science lab suppliers.)
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Mountain View
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Montreal - Beijing - Chengdu
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  • Silver Spring Networks
    2010 - present
  • Chinese Information and Networking Association (CINA)
  • Electronic Data Systems
    2002 - 2010
  • Nuasis Corp
    2000 - 2002
  • ChiTech
  • Sunrise Chinese Library (太阳升)
  • China News Digest (CND)/华夏文摘
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • McGill University
  • Concordia University
  • Université de Sherbrooke
  • Institute of Acoustics
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  • Chinese Academy of Sciences
    Acoustics
    Ph.D., M.Sc.
  • Sichuan University
    Physics
    B.Sc.
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Yuan LIU's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Mountain View Hackerlings
sites.google.com

Educational nonprofit to teach STEAM to children by hacking and tinkering. Turn your children's curiosity into creativity.

DVCon Highlights: Software, Complexity, and Moore's Law | Systems Design...
chipdesignmag.com

Aart de Geus keynote and the Art or Science Panel prove that DVCon is not just for verification engineers.

What’s in a name: when is the IoT Industrie 4.0? | Systems Design Engine...
chipdesignmag.com

When does the IoT become Industrie 4.0, wonders Caroline Hayes. National Instruments' NI Days is a good grounding for establishing definitio

Physical Analytics Part 1: Tracking Your Home with Google Analytics | Ni...
nicomiceli.com

All those things you couldn’t track, you now can! No seriously, all those things. * sigh * Yes Internet, you can track your cat. I tracked t

Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff
www.latimes.com

Salesforce.com Chief Executive Marc Benioff wants tech companies to respond to the backlash in San Francisco by giving more back to the comm

Marc Benioff joins critics of tech industry 'stinginess' in S.F.
www.latimes.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- If you want to know how bad the tech backlash has gotten in this city, consider that the man who happens to run the city's

Wolverton: These gifts might be educational, but your kids will call the...
www.mercurynews.com

If you’re looking for something this holiday season to get your kids excited about science and technology, here are some ideas.

Google shuts down iGoogle, which joins long line of shuttered services
www.mercurynews.com

Google kicked off November by killing off one of its little-used features. The Mountain Viewcompany got rid of iGoogle, a tool that let user

BE MAKER! KIT plus FREE lessons on electronics, from Zero to Internet of...
www.indiegogo.com

After the incredible success of my first campaign, I want to change the way people learn electronics; this is for EVERYONE!

Retirement Planner: Target-date funds not a good investment strategy
www.mercurynews.com

If ignorance is bliss, then target retirement date funds have arrived just in time for those who are seeking that state of mind.

Review: Refinements make Apple's Mavericks well worth the upgrade
www.mercurynews.com

Apple's new Mac operating system, dubbed Mavericks, has plenty of modest refinements that add up to a system well worth the upgrade -- even

Facebook kills 100 startups with new collaborative photo album feature
venturebeat.com

This is massively convenient and tons of fun for the billion-plus users of Facebook. For entrepreneurs who've built photo-sharing apps, not

How to Spy On People's PCs and Webcams
www.forbes.com

Ad on SniperSpy's home page touts "install and monitor computer remotely" You don't have to work for the NSA to spy on people. All you need

Bad guys use 3D-printed credit card skimmers to steal $100K
venturebeat.com

The power of 3D printing is helping criminals create custom credit card skimmers.

This is not your fine dining parlour. You come here for the flavour, Northeastern Chinese which is rare in North America. The cuisine, heavily influenced by Korean, is not even mainstream in China. You won't usually get Northeastern in banquets. But Guan Dong House makes several Northeastern dishes that are very popular among Chinese. And they make them very well. As to service, I'd say it is average among Chinese restaurants. But if you show some connaisseur in Northeastern cuisine, the host will be very appreciative, and you can get better attention.
• • •
Public - 3 months ago
reviewed 3 months ago
San Diego Zoo is an absolute treasure. I grew up less than 70 km (45 miles) from Wolong, the largest panda nature reserve. So Panda was not an attraction. Zoos in China also generally keep more species than a typical American zoo. But in education and entertainment value, there is no comparison. Construction, architecture and arts are also top notch. Wish I had more time there.
Public - 7 months ago
reviewed 7 months ago
I cannot claim this a best kept secret, although the location is rather obscure. But they have enough return customers like myself who can't get enough of them.Food: Top pho in the area bar none. Their meat is always well selected and prepared, no cutting corners like so many others. No tissues that are hard to chew. No corners and edges that taste stale. Cooking is consistent whenever you visit. And taste simply has no competition locally. (I still think Pho Bang New York of Montreal the best, though I haven't visited them since coming to know Pho Nam.) Portion is also very generous compared to local competition. (Again, Pho Bang New York easily tops.)Interior: Furnishing is adequate, well maintained although rather basic, except the carpet. Carpet is rather undermaintained. I believe that's what gives the unpleasant interior smell. Tucked into a nondescript strip mall, they always keep otherwise large windows shuttered. This may have added to the smell. Although Pho Nam restaurants use similar decorations, the one on El Camino looks much better. This one perhaps has the most faded wall decorations, although the intricate interaction between artificial lights and whatever sunlight that escapes the shutters can make the space feel cozier than a fast food place. Right, this is a sit-down fast food place. Seating is typical train couches.Service: Even though they seat you and take your orders, your pho usually comes out faster than In-and-Out burger if you know what you wanted in advance. (My favourites are #1 and #4 from the menu.) On the other hand, they do have dishes, sides, and specialty drinks in addition to some 20 phos. (I really just go there for pho so I cannot comment on food other than pho. (I only tried spring rolls. Although I am fond of Vietnamese rolls, theirs is not the best.) Like in many oriental restaurants, they serve complimentary hot tea if you don't want iced water. (Nothing fancy about the tea but better than many similar restaurants, some of them would gladly charge you for this.) After the meal, you go to the counter to view your bill and pay. Servers' are cordial and prompt, just don't expect much in food recommendations. Warning: They can be swamped during weekday lunches.What else? Oh. Do not use the restroom unless you have to. (OK, this applies universally to similar establishments, even applies to some trendy Chinese restaurants.) However, the restroom is reasonably clean.I've been to three other Pho Nam's in the area (as well as many other pho places). This one is the best among them, and serves the best pho in the area bar none. Their bill shows they are shop #4, so they must have at least one location that I haven't visited.
• • •
Food: ExcellentDecor: GoodService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
I booked from Expedia at last minute for Christmas. There were lots of negative feedbacks about the place on sources cited on Expedia. But first, I was in the last minute. Secondly, I didn't have time to read into details; just average rating wasn't too convincing. Thirdly, it offers free Wi-Fi Internet. Among free breakfast and free Wi-Fi, I chose free Wi-Fi. It's a big complex of two-story buildings, with adjacent restaurant, night club, liquor store and gym, all apparently in the same operation. The outside is well maintained, with pleasant landscaping. Free outdoor parking is adequate although we only rented car for a couple days. They have two heated pools but one is closed during winter. Bus 88 stops at the entrance. Routes 20 and 120 have stops within 3 minutes' walking. Room interior tells a very different story. They do have pleasant wall decorations, but most furniture except bed and linen items are dysfunctional. The shower has a serious draining problem. The water tap on the sink is oddly stiff. The safe does not lock. The night table cabin does not open. While the desk is sturdy, the chair squeaks badly. Even most wall electric jackets are unusable. My biggest complain, however, is advertised Wi-Fi Internet connection. It works fine close to the office. But in buildings further away (Buildings 7 and 8 at least), it is next to impossible to get connection. I had some really bad connection during the first two nights, then everything stopped working. I complained to management multiple times but they couldn't get it fixed. Wi-Fi is the single biggest decision factor in booking Mission Valley Resort, so this is a big loser. On the positive side, the people working there are very kind and helpful. Plus, the adjacent Valley Kitchen Family Restaurant is a superb casual dining destination, very good food and very good value, despite their rundown furniture just like in the hotel.
• • •
Quality: Poor - FairFacilities: Poor - FairService: Very Good
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
14 reviews
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Crowded with lots of smiling ethnic Koreans. This is one thing I look for when trying a cuisine that I do not know. (Learned this from a San Francisco food critic about Chinese restaurant.) And SGD Tofu House draws me back. SGD Tofu House is very visible in the Korean strip, but not a flashy venue like Palace BBQ nearby. (And not charge a arm and leg, either.) It has one of a kind floor window on the outside, and rather simple decorations inside. In fact, the inside can be a little congested as the house's mainstays are tofu pot and bibimbap. These are the dishes I come for. One word: heavenly. Can't say I eat tofu pot and bibimbap often or in many places to form a studied and fair opinion. But every time I return to SGD Tofu House, I leave with that very satisfied feeling. Perhaps this is partially thanks to the family restaurant air. You can hear Korean front and back. In the end, though, it is your stomach - and tongue that have to judge.
• • •
Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago
I was at Carlsbad Ruby's when my baby was only one month old. I brought my eight-year old back to this location again when visiting Legoland. Seating is comfortable. Pseudo-50s decor is attractive. Food is superb at very reasonable prices. I had fish 'n chips this time. The cod tastes fresh and juicy, tartar sauce tasty. It even serves with ample vegetable - never get this in other restaurants. I also ordered a side Ruby's house chili. It has a unique fine taste. Service is not particularly mendable but certainly passable.
• • •
Food: ExcellentDecor: ExcellentService: Very Good
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
These guys are for real. I thought I called them to make an arrangement following a recommendation I received. But when I arrived this morning, I discovered that I called a wrong garage. "If you called yesterday, we would have told you that we were full for the next two weeks." But Trever not only listened to my explanations and patiently answered my questions, he also squeezed my job in. Their quote was even lower than that from a corporate owned center that I often use and that I had planned to go the day before hearing about them. Additionally, their door-to-door shuttle is the most efficient garage ride I have ever used - I was on the very minute paperwork finished. I would definitely use them more.
• • •
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago