For decades, American cuisine had a familiar, comfortable style, sometimes regional, sometimes European. That changed in the early 1970s in Northern California. What happened then and since is as American as the Fourth of July.

Jeremiah Tower ignited the fireworks of “New American” cuisine. At Chez Panisse in Berkeley, with Alice Waters; and at Stars, his San Francisco showcase, Tower changed restaurants and expectations, focusing intensely on California products and applying classic cooking techniques to them.

“In a sense, the revolution worked too well,” Tower said, “with everything looking the same.” The new swiftly became routine and overdone. Now, that’s changing, too.

California and “New American” cuisines migrated across the country and have been major influences on Long Island at least since the mid-1970s, when the now-closed Ross North Fork Restaurant arrived in Southold.

These days, the style defines many of the region’s top restaurants, often succeeding those moored more to European traditions, with Asian and Latin influences joining in.

“We aren’t burdened with history in food,” said Jason Weiner, executive chef of Almond in Bridgehampton. “We are in a new world.”

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What’s going on

Weiner noted that, “We get 90 percent of our produce sourced within a five-mile radius . . . it’s expected, not exotic.” Almond participates in a “dock to dish” program with fishermen that yields specials each week from “sustainable and trustworthy” sources, “cutting out the middleman.’’

Jonathan Contes and Tate Morris are co-chefs at Mosaic in St. James. Every night, they prepare a single, five-course dinner. “It varies from day to day,” Contes said. “We don’t repeat dishes. It’s very market-based, especially seafood and vegetables.” The approach is similar to what began decades ago and continues at Chez Panisse.

But instead of “New American,” Contes said terms such as “fusion” and “global” may apply. “I eat and love everything. I grew up on a household half-Greek and half-Puerto Rican, with all these ethnic flavors. And I grew up on Long Island with Italian food.”

The range of ethnic cuisines now contributes significantly to what’s generally categorized as New American, said Andrew F. Smith, editor of The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink. The country adapts cuisines and reshapes them, from Mexican to Japanese to Italian.

All this happens at a rapid pace — evolution speeded up by customer demand, food media and the social network.

Stephan Bogardus, executive chef at The North Fork Table & Inn in Southold, commented that in the Instagram era, “Things aren’t stagnant. Dishes aren’t staying prominent as long. What can be right one week won’t be the next.”

And as diners’ tastes move rapidly, so the kitchen must, too. There are fewer tasting menus, and a la carte dishes may have shorter lives than before.

“As soon as you get it right, it’s time to get rid of it,” Bogardus said. His cuisine is driven by the calendar and the market. “Striped bass is running right now. Tomato season is going to start very early.” A big crop of chamomile has him thinking of ways to bring together peaches and herbs.

Where it’s going

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Tom Schaudel’s current crop of restaurants includes Jewel in Melville, A Mano in Mattituck, and A Lure in Southold. He also savors local ingredients, especially Long Island wines. “So much more is available.”

But Schaudel noted, “In December, you have to go out past Long Island, or you have 12 items of cauliflower” on the menu.

He, too, cited the growth of ethnic restaurants as a major influence on what’s under the increasingly broad umbrella of New American cuisine.

American chefs “have been stealing from France and Italy for years. Now, we’re robbing from everybody.” Echoing Jeremiah Tower, he said, is the basic: “Put the best possible ingredients on the plate.”

To chef Weiner at Almond, there are two threads running through American cuisine today. “Do as little as possible to the ingredients or try to coax as much out of them as possible.” “They are just the starting point.”

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Trends flourish in the smartphone, instant-access millennial era, nurtured by food media. But there are limits. “We don’t follow too many” on social media, said Matt Connors, chef and co-owner of The Lake House in Bay Shore.

The broader trends, he said, reflect “the availability of ingredients on Long Island that you didn’t have 20 years ago. . . . It’s a small world now. We can get anything we want the next day — from anywhere.”

Connors said, “New American is a pretty good catchall, with influences from all over the world.”

Jeremiah Tower now lives on the Yucatan, seeing the next wave. He enjoys $1 breakfast tacos of cod and pork “equal to a $300 meal — a chef standing behind one or two perfect ingredients ... the complexity of simplicity.”