When Kevin Lo opened his small Asian Legend restaurant on William St. near Cottage Inn in 2007, he was in a quiet backwater. Now he’s in a construction zone, but when Zaragon West, the new private student dorm going up a few doors to the west, opens next fall, he’ll be in the thick of things.

Lo just finished renovating the adjoining space that used to be David’s Books and has doubled his seating capacity. But when asked if he’s expecting to fill his new space with Zaragon undergraduates he says politely, “I never think about those things. I just think about right now.”

He admits that what he really meant was no. While everyone likes Chinese food, some of his menu is a tad sophisticated for the typical burger- and burrito-eating student. Most of the Asian Legend menu is what Lo calls, with almost visible quotation marks, “Chinese” (it’s the American version of Chinese food found all over southeast Michigan). But what makes his restaurant stand out to faculty and other more well-traveled adults is the section of Taiwanese food. Lo, forty-two, was born in Taiwan and came to the United States in 1983. Taiwan’s multicultural cuisine, influenced by several occupiers (Japan is an important one), is hard to define, he says. Judging from some of the names of the Taiwan dishes, it sounds, if nothing else, uncompromisingly earthy: “stinky tofu and mustard greens,” “spicy pork intestine,” “pig feet with basil.”

Though the new side of the restaurant looks mostly like a mirror image of the old, the renovation moved the kitchen to the David’s Books side of the building. “I couldn’t have done it without the landlords [Nick Genova and Pam Gibson]. They encouraged me to do it. They helped me find a reliable architect and a reliable contractor.” In early October, he was waiting for the final touch in the renovation, a new awning and signage that would span his expanded storefront.

Asian Legend, 516 E. William. 622-0750. Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. asianlegendannarbor.com