I'm in SD for 4 days starting tomorrow and I have a car. It appears that the hotel is in a culinary no man's land- Country Inn and Suites (Mira Mesa near the 805 and El Camino Memorial Park) I've done some map questing and it seems that the places that come up as must visits are fairly far away. (While I do drive in DC it is all local, so the whole freeway thing is rather vexing, but faced with Chili's in the parking lot I will learn to merge!)
I plan on Izakaya Sakura and Super Cochina. My 13 y/o and I plan to drive from this location down to the Zoo. Is there anything near the Zoo? I'd like to go to the aquarium in LaJolla, but I recall having only mediocre food up there.
I've noticed few mentions of Indian or Thai (our favorites) in the Chow posts on things you must eat in SD. Any advice or recommendations?
Also, any recs for things to bring back to the East Coast? I'm originally from AZ so I usually bring tortillas back from there. Anything ideas for food gifts that travel well?