Biden shells out big tip for tacos at Los Angeles lunch stop

Instead of accepting 'public service' discount that restaurant extends to government employees, the president pays it forward

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US President Joe Biden paid almost four times his dinner bill when he stopped for tacos and quesadillas during a Los Angeles visit on Thursday.

Mr Biden, 79, smiled as he picked up an order, telling the server the extra money should be used to pay for the next customer or go into the employee tip jar.

Mr Biden, who was accompanied by Los Angeles mayoral candidate and California Representative Karen Bass and LA County supervisor Hilda Solis, ordered two quesadillas and six tacos for the group, including chicken quesadillas for himself.

The server told the president he was receiving a 50 per cent "public service" discount on the bill at a branch of Tacos 1986, with the total coming to $16.45.

But the "kitchen table" President, who is battling headwinds from inflation, hurricanes and midterms, instead handed over $60 in cold cash.

The Westwood restaurant thanked Mr Biden on social media for stopping by, saying that it "was a true honour to serve the President of the United States of America".

Tacos trucks and Mexican restaurants are ubiquitous in southern California, frequented not only by the millions of Latinos who live there, but scores of other Los Angeles residents.

Annual inflation in the US now stands at 8.2 per cent.

Mr Biden is making three stops on the west coast to tout his recent bipartisan infrastructure legislation and will next visit Portland, Oregon.

AFP contributed to this report.

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