Haven't been to SD in over 7 years (yikes!), and am coming down next weekend with family (10 year old boy, and 17 year old semi-vegetarian daughter) for a couple days...staying at Hyatt in Mission Bay.
We like all sorts of food, like to keep dinner for under $200 max, more casual than dressy. Don't really want to drive more than 30 minutes or so. Don't worry about breakfast...we eat at hotel, and none of us are breakfast people anyway!
Ideally, we would like more unique SD experiences that we can't find in LA, or are superior to LA.