Al Diwan Lebanese Cuisine Restaurant A unique history has helped place Lebanese food among the most popular of all Middle Eastern cultures. During the earlier days, Lebanon was ruled by foreign powers that have influenced the types of food and cuisine. The origins of many Lebanese dishes trace back to the time of the culture known as Phoenician, a maritime trading culture with extensive reach across the Mediterranean. The influence of the Levant region is most obvious in use of spices, for instance, zaâ??atar has been enjoyed in this region for thousands of years. Classic Lebanese dishes, such as hummus and manoosh, can also be traced back to ancient roots in Levantine cuisine.