Never heard of CalMex! Maybe I should fly over to the west coast and you can make it for me?
My wife and I just vacationed to Vegas and the Grand Canyon actually. We rented a car and drove from Vegas to the South Rim. We loved every bit of it. Gorgeous terrain.
I would very much enjoy having you over, Dyal, once I get my home in order. I have some serious issues to resolve first. Amazing... the Grand Canyon is my favorite spot on earth. I got to backpack/camp down to the bottom, and it is even more awesome looking up out of it. And best beer (Coors of all things!) I've ever had in my life (brought down on mule back). No kidding, the hike down there is harder than the climb up, because one's legs really take a pounding on the way down. I awakened the following morning barely able to move! And Lost Wages is a fabulous place to eat. You and your wife were definitely close to my habitat.
As for CalMex, I find that it has less a dependence on cumin (which can get overwhelming and tiring), and a wider spectrum or repertoire of ingredients, spices, recipes. Not to mention the variety of kinds of chile peppers. Much of CalMex is essentially true Mexican cuisine brought up north. Of course I admit to being biased or jaded, so I should let you and everyone else be judge on that.