Coffee has become such an institution in the states its now as religious as waking up and going to bed. You keep an American from their trip to their local Coffee store and you can imagine trouble kicking off.
On our trip, we stopped in Venice Beach a couple of times and hit up IntelliVenice part of the Intelligentsia Coffee shops. Its a really nice place, with a nice mix of traditional coffee, friendliness, with emphasis on good quality coffee. No rushing here even if the que is out the door, they wanna make sure that your brew is perfect.
The arcitcheture inside is really nice, and I dont know what you would call it but a lot of stainless steel and wood, makes for a nice combo. Space to work out back, space to talk down front, and a whole heap of Coffee makers where you can make your own brew at home.